Title: Quantification of live aboveground forest biomass dynamics with Landsat time-series and field inventory data: A comparison of empirical modeling approaches
Author: Powell, Scott L.; Cohen, Warren B.; Healey, Sean P.; Kennedy, Robert E.; Moisen, Gretchen G.; Pierce, Kenneth B.; Ohmann, Janet L.
Source: Remote Sensing of Environment. 114(5): 1053-1068.
Description: Spatially and temporally explicit knowledge of biomass dynamics
at broad scales is critical to understanding how forest disturbance
and regrowth processes influence carbon dynamics. We modeled
live, aboveground tree biomass using Forest Inventory and Analysis
(FIA) field data and applied the models to 20+ year time-series
of Landsat satellite imagery to derive trajectories of aboveground
forest biomass for study locations in Arizona and Minnesota.
We compared three statistical techniques (Reduced Major Axis
regression, Gradient Nearest Neighbor imputation, and Random
Forests regression trees) for modeling biomass to better understand
how the choice of model type affected predictions of biomass
dynamics. Models from each technique were applied across the
20+ year Landsat time-series to derive biomass trajectories,
to which a curve-fitting algorithm was applied to leverage the
temporal information contained within the time-series itself
and to minimize error associated with exogenous effects such
as biomass measurements, phenology, sun angle, and other sources.
The effect of curve-fitting was an improvement in predictions
of biomass change when validated against observed biomass change
from repeat FIA inventories. Maps of biomass dynamics were integrated
with maps depicting the location and timing of forest disturbance
and regrowth to assess the biomass consequences of these processes
over large areas and long time frames. The application of these
techniques to a large sample of Landsat scenes across North America
will facilitate spatial and temporal estimation of biomass dynamics
associated with forest disturbance and regrowth, and aid in
estimates of biomass change in support of the North American
Keywords: biomass, Landsat, FIA, disturbance, curve-fitting, random forests
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Powell, Scott L.; Cohen, Warren B.; Healey, Sean P.; Kennedy, Robert E.; Moisen, Gretchen G.; Pierce, Kenneth B.; Ohmann, Janet L. 2010. Quantification of live aboveground forest biomass dynamics with Landsat time-series and field inventory data: A comparison of empirical modeling approaches. Remote Sensing of Environment. 114(5): 1053-1068..