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Quantitative Assessment of vegetation structural attributes from aerial photography

Fensham, R, Fairfax, R, Holman, J and Whitehead, PJ (2002). Quantitative Assessment of vegetation structural attributes from aerial photography. International Journal of Remote Sensing,23(11):2293-2317.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Quantitative Assessment of vegetation structural attributes from aerial photography
Author Fensham, R
Fairfax, R
Holman, J
Whitehead, PJ
Journal Name International Journal of Remote Sensing
Publication Date 2002
Volume Number 23
Issue Number 11
ISSN 0143-1161   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 2293
End Page 2317
Total Pages 25
Place of Publication England
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Field of Research 0909 - Geomatic Engineering
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Cover of vegetation understorey and overstorey was determined from aerial photography at 1:25 000 and 1:40 000 scales by a grid sampling technique. Models were developed relating values of aerial cover to field cover as determined by intensive field measurement. The influence of photo-scale, photo colour, the angle of the image, shadow, the hiatus between aerial and field sampling, crown width, crown height, proportion of dead trees, drought prior to aerial sampling, land type, previously cleared vegetation and incline on explanatory models was also examined. The only variables that could be clearly interpreted as influencing the models were vegetation height, photo-scale and land type. Only the latter two variables are useful for predictive models. The smaller the scale of photography the greater the exaggeration of the aerial image of tree crowns. This probable result of photo graininess would be most significant when tree crowns are small, an inverse surrogate of tree height. Two-phase models were developed for predicting basal area and biomass from aerial cover. In most instances models were successful for predicting overstorey and understorey cover and for predicting total basal area and biomass. The technique offers a powerful and cost-effective method of assessing vegetation change over long time periods in a way that no other technique can duplicate.
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