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Evaluation of aerial photography for predicting trends in structural attributes of Australian woodland including comparison with ground-based monitoring data

Fensham, R.J. and Bray, S.G. and Fairfax, R.J. (2007) Evaluation of aerial photography for predicting trends in structural attributes of Australian woodland including comparison with ground-based monitoring data. Journal of Environmental Management, 83 (4). pp. 392-401.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2006.03.013

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com

Abstract

The accurate assessment of trends in the woody structure of savannas has important implications for greenhouse accounting and land-use industries such as pastoralism. Two recent assessments of live woody biomass change from north-east Australian eucalypt woodland between the 1980s and 1990s present divergent results. The first estimate is derived from a network of permanent monitoring plots and the second from woody cover assessments from aerial photography. The differences between the studies are reviewed and include sample density, spatial scale and design. Further analyses targeting potential biases in the indirect aerial photography technique are conducted including a comparison of basal area estimates derived from 28 permanent monitoring sites with basal area estimates derived by the aerial photography technique. It is concluded that the effect of photo-scale; or the failure to include appropriate back-transformation of biomass estimates in the aerial photography study are not likely to have contributed significantly to the discrepancy. However, temporal changes in the structure of woodlands, for example, woodlands maturing from many smaller trees to fewer larger trees or seasonal changes, which affect the relationship between cover and basal area could impact on the detection of trends using the aerial photography technique. It is also possible that issues concerning photo-quality may bias assessments through time, and that the limited sample of the permanent monitoring network may inadequately represent change at regional scales

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© Elsevier.
Keywords:Carbon accounting; eucalypt savanna; structural change; vegetation thickening.
Subjects:Forestry > Special aspects of forestry
Forestry > History of forestry. Forest conditions
Deposited On:03 Feb 2009 03:17
Last Modified:29 Sep 2010 23:41

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