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High-Density UAV-LiDAR in an Integrated Crop-Livestock-Forest System: Sampling Forest Inventory or Forest Inventory Based on Individual Tree Detection (ITD)

Date: February 16, 2022

This whitepaper presents a novel approach to forest inventory within integrated crop-livestock-forest systems using high-density UAV-LiDAR point clouds. Focusing on Eucalyptus benthamii seed forest plantations, we utilized the GatorEye UAV-LiDAR system to compare two forest inventory methods: Sampling Forest Inventory (SFI) with various plot arrangements and Individual Tree Detection (ITD).

By analyzing a point cloud with over 1400 points per square meter, we assessed basal area and volume estimates using both field and LiDAR-measured heights. We compared the number of trees, basal area, and volume per hectare across different scenarios, using statistical analysis to evaluate accuracy and equivalence. Our results show that the SFI approach with a 2300 m² area provides estimates comparable to the ITD method, with minimal error and improved processing efficiency.

This study offers valuable insights for selecting optimal plot sizes in forest inventories, enhancing precision in integrated crop-livestock-forest systems.

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