Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Effect of Field Sample Size on Large-Scale Subtropic Forest Inventory Attribute Estimation Based on Airborne Laser Scanner Data

Version 1 : Received: 21 June 2021 / Approved: 22 June 2021 / Online: 22 June 2021 (13:03:33 CEST)

How to cite: Zhu, Y.; Bei, Z.X.; Xin, L.; Chao, C.Z.; Mei, Z.; Gan, L.C. Effect of Field Sample Size on Large-Scale Subtropic Forest Inventory Attribute Estimation Based on Airborne Laser Scanner Data. Preprints 2021, 2021060530 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0530.v1). Zhu, Y.; Bei, Z.X.; Xin, L.; Chao, C.Z.; Mei, Z.; Gan, L.C. Effect of Field Sample Size on Large-Scale Subtropic Forest Inventory Attribute Estimation Based on Airborne Laser Scanner Data. Preprints 2021, 2021060530 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0530.v1).

Abstract

Exploring the effect of the sample size on the estimation accuracy of airborne LiDAR forest attributes in a large-scale area can help in optimizing the technical application scheme of operational ALS-based large-scale forest stand inventories. In our study, sample datasets composed of different sample plots were constructed by repeated sampling from 1003 sample plots in a subtropical study area covering 2376 × 103 km2. Sixteen multiplicative power models were built in each forest type consisting of four forest attributes. Through these models, the variations of standard deviation (SD) and coefficient of variation (CV) of R2 and rRMSE of forest attribute estimation models for different quantity levels of sample plots were also analyzed. The results showed that, first, when the sample size increased from 30 to the top limit, the SD of the forest attributes and LiDAR variables showed a decreasing trend. Second, as the sample size increased, the rRMSE of the 16 forest attribute estimation models gradually decreased, while the R2 gradually increased. Third, when the sample size was small, both the SD of R2 and rRMSE of the models were large, and the SD of R2 and rRMSE gradually decreased as the sample size increased. In 50 models conducted for each attribute at the same sample size, for the mean standard deviations of forest attributes, the ten best performing models were lower than those of the total 50 models, and the worst ten models were the opposite. When the sample size increased, the accuracy of each forest attribute estimation model for each forest type gradually improved. The variation of forest attributes and the LiDAR variable of the construction model are critical factors that affect the model’s accuracy. To efficiently apply airborne LiDAR in order to survey large-scale subtropical forest resources, the sample size of the Chinese fir forest, pine forest, eucalyptus forest, and broad-leaved forest should be 110, 80, 85, and 70, respectively.

Subject Areas

airborne LiDAR; forest attributes; multivariate power model; sample size

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