Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

UAV-Based High-Throughput Approach for Fast Growing Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Cultivar Screening by Machine Learning

Version 1 : Received: 9 July 2019 / Approved: 11 July 2019 / Online: 11 July 2019 (11:41:33 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Zou, X.; Liang, A.; Wu, B.; Su, J.; Zheng, R.; Li, J. UAV-Based High-Throughput Approach for Fast Growing Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Cultivar Screening by Machine Learning. Forests 2019, 10, 815. Zou, X.; Liang, A.; Wu, B.; Su, J.; Zheng, R.; Li, J. UAV-Based High-Throughput Approach for Fast Growing Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Cultivar Screening by Machine Learning. Forests 2019, 10, 815.

Journal reference: Forests 2019, 10, 815
DOI: 10.3390/f10090815

Abstract

Accurate measurements of tree height and diameter at breast height (DBH) in forests to evaluate the growth rate of cultivars is still a significant challenge, even when using LiDAR and 3-D modeling. We propose an integrated pipeline methodology to measure the biomass of different tree cultivars in plantation forests with high crown density which that combines unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), hyperspectral image sensors, and data processing algorithms using machine learning. Using a planation of Cunninghamia lanceolate, commonly known as Chinese fir, in Fujian, China, images were collected using a hyperspectral camera and orthorectified in HiSpectral Stitcher. Vegetation indices and modeling were processed in Python using decision trees, random forests, support vector machine, and eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) third-party libraries. Tree height and DBH of 2880 samples were measured manually and clustering into three groups: “fast growth,” “median,” growth and “normal” growth group, and 19 vegetation indices from 12,000 pixels were abstracted as the input of features for the modeling. After modeling and cross-validation, the classifier generated by random forests had the best prediction accuracy compare to other algorisms (75%). This framework can be applied to other tree species to make management and business decisions.

Subject Areas

Cunninghamia lanceolate; UAVs; hyperspectral camera; machine learning; random forests; XGBoost

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