The Influence of Data Density and Integration on Forest Canopy Cover Mapping Using Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 Time Series in Mediterranean Oak Forests
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Forest canopy cover (FCC) is one of the most important forest inventory parameters and plays a critical role in evaluating forest functions. This study examines the potential of integrating Sentinel-1 (S-1) and Sentinel-2 (S-2) data to map FCC in the heterogeneous Mediterranean oak forests of western Iran in different data densities (one-year datasets vs. three-year datasets). This study used very high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth, gridded points, and field inventory plots to generate a reference dataset. Based on it, four FCC classes were defined, namely non-forest, sparse forest (FCC = 1–30%), medium-density forest (FCC = 31–60%), and dense forest (FCC > 60%). In this study, three machine learning (ML) models, including Random Forest (RF), Support Vector Machine (SVM), and Classification and Regression Tree (CART), were used in the Google Earth Engine and their performance was compared for classification. Results showed that the SVM produced the highest accuracy on FCC mapping. The three-year time series increased the ability of all ML models to classify FCC classes, in particular the sparse forest class, which was not distinguished well by the one-year dataset. Class-level accuracy assessment results showed a remarkable increase in F-1 scores for sparse forest classification by integrating S-1 and S-2 (10.4% to 18.2% increased for the CART and SVM ML models, respectively). In conclusion, the synergetic use of S-1 and S-2 spectral temporal metrics improved the classification accuracy compared to that obtained using only S-2. The study relied on open data and freely available tools and can be integrated into national monitoring systems of FCC in Mediterranean oak forests of Iran and neighboring countries with similar forest attributes. Show more
Journal / seriesISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Pages / Article No.
Subjectforest canopy cover; Google Earth Engine; machine learning; random forest; support vector machine; classification and regression tree; Sentinel time series; Quercus brantii; Iran
Organisational unit09723 - Griess, Verena C. / Griess, Verena C.
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