iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Modelling dasometric attributes of mixed and uneven-aged forests using Landsat-8 OLI spectral data in the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico

Carlos A López-Sánchez (1), Pedro García-Ramírez (2), Richard Resl (3), José C Hernández-Díaz (1), Pablito M López-Serrano (2), Christian Wehenkel (1)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 288-295 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1891-009
Published: Feb 11, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

Remote sensors can be used as a robust and effective means of monitoring isolated or inaccessible forest sites. In the present study, the multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS) technique was successfully applied to remotely sensed data collected by the Landsat-8 satellite to estimate mean diameter at breast height (R2 = 0.73), mean crown cover (R2 = 0.55), mean volume (R2 = 0.57) and total volume per plot (R2 = 0.41) in the forest monitoring sites. However, the spectral data yielded poor estimates of tree number per plot (R2 = 0.22), the mean height (R2 = 0.25) and the mean diameter at base (R2 = 0.38). Seven spectral bands (band 1 to band 7), six vegetation indexes and other derived parameters (NDVI, SAVI, LAI, FPAR. ALB and ASR) and eight terrain variables derived from the digital elevation model (elevation, slope, aspect, plan curvature, profile curvature, transformed aspect, terrain shape index and wetness index) were used as predictors in the fitted models. To prevent over-parameterization only some of the predictor variables considered were included in each model. The results indicate the MARS technique is potentially suitable for estimating dasometric variables from using spectral data obtained by the Landsat-8 OLI sensor.


Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, Mixed Forest, Uneven-aged Forest, Stand Variables, Remote Sensing, Terrain Features

Authors’ address

Carlos A López-Sánchez
José C Hernández-Díaz
Christian Wehenkel
Instituto de Silvicultura e Industria de la Madera. Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Bvld del Guadiana 501, Fracc. Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 34120 Durango (México)
Pedro García-Ramírez
Pablito M López-Serrano
Doctorado Institucional en Ciencias Agropecuarias y Forestales. Universidad Juárez de Estado de Durango (UJED)
Richard Resl
GEOcentro UNIGIS-USFQ. Universidad de San Francisco de Quito, Cumbaya (Ecuador)

Corresponding author

Christian Wehenkel


López-Sánchez CA, García-Ramírez P, Resl R, Hernández-Díaz JC, López-Serrano PM, Wehenkel C (2017). Modelling dasometric attributes of mixed and uneven-aged forests using Landsat-8 OLI spectral data in the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico. iForest 10: 288-295. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1891-009

Academic Editor

Alessandro Montaghi

Paper history

Received: Oct 01, 2015
Accepted: Oct 12, 2016

First online: Feb 11, 2017
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2017
Publication Time: 4.07 months

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