Metsa katvuse ja liituse hindamine lennukilt laserskanneriga
Tests were carried out in mature Scots pine, Norway spruce and Silver birch stands at Järvselja, Estonia, to estimate canopy cover (K) and crown cover (L) from airborne lidar data. Independent estimates Kc and Lc for K and L were calculated from the Cajanus tube readings made on the ground at 1.3 m height. Lidar data based cover estimates depended on the inclusion of different order returns significantly. In all the stands first order return based estimate K1 was biased positively (3-10%) at the reference height of 1.3 m compared to ground measurements. All lidar based estimates decreased with increasing the reference height. Single return (Ky) and all return (Kk) based canopy cover estimates depended more on the sand structure compared to K1. The ratio of all return count to the first return count D behaved like crown cover estimate in all stands. However, in spruce stand D understimated Lc significantly. In the Scots pine stand K1(1.3) = 0.7431 was most similar canopy cover estimate relative to the ground estimate Kc = 0,7362 whereas Ky(1.3) and Kk(1.3) gave significant underestimates (>15%) of K. Caused by the simple structure of Scots pine stand - only one layer pine trees, the Cajanus tube based canopy cover (Kc), crown cover (Lc) and lidar data based canopy density D(1.3) values were rather similar. In the Norway spruce stand and in the Silver birch stand second layer and regeneration trees were present. In the Silver birch stand Kk(1.3) and Ky(1.3) estimated Kc rather well. In the Norway spruce stand Ky(1.3) and K1(1.3) were the best estimators of Kc whereas Kk(1.3) underestimated canopy cover. Lidar data were found to be usable for canopy cover and crown cover assessment but the selection of the estimator is not trivial and depends on the stand structure.