iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Estimation of aboveground forest biomass in Galicia (NW Spain) by the combined use of LiDAR, LANDSAT ETM+ and National Forest Inventory data

Enrique Jiménez (1)   , José A Vega (1), José M Fernández-Alonso (1), Daniel Vega-Nieva (2), Luis Ortiz (3), Pablito M López-Serrano (2), Carlos A López-Sánchez (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 590-596 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1989-010
Published: May 15, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

Assessing biomass is critical for accounting bioenergy potentials and monitoring forest ecosystem responses to global change and disturbances. Remote sensing, especially Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data combined with field data, is being increasingly used for forest inventory purposes. We evaluated the feasibility of the combined use of freely available data, both remote sensing (LiDAR data provided by the Spanish National Plan for Aerial Ortophotography - PNOA - and Landsat vegetation spectral indices) and field data (from the National Forest Inventory) to estimate stand dendrometric and aboveground biomass variables of the most productive tree species in a pilot area in Galicia (northwestern Spain). The results suggest that the models can accurately predict dendrometric and biomass variables at plot level with an R2 ranging from 0.49 to 0.65 for basal area, from 0.65 to 0.95 for dominant height, from 0.48 to 0.68 for crown biomass and from 0.55 to 0.82 for stem biomass. Our results support the use of this approach to reduce the cost of forest inventories and provide a useful tool for stakeholders to map forest stand variables and biomass stocks.


Biomass Maps, Forest Inventory, LiDAR, Landsat Vegetation Indices

Authors’ address

Enrique Jiménez
José A Vega
José M Fernández-Alonso
Centro de Investigación Forestal - Lourizán, PO Box 127, 36080 Pontevedra (Spain)
Daniel Vega-Nieva
Pablito M López-Serrano
Carlos A López-Sánchez
Facultad de Ciencias Forestales - Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango (México) Río Papaloapan, Valle del Sur, 34120 Durango, Dgo. (México)
Luis Ortiz
Departmento de Ingeniería de Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente, Universidad de Vigo, Campus A Xunqueira, Pontevedra, 36005 (Spain)

Corresponding author

Enrique Jiménez


Jiménez E, Vega JA, Fernández-Alonso JM, Vega-Nieva D, Ortiz L, López-Serrano PM, López-Sánchez CA (2017). Estimation of aboveground forest biomass in Galicia (NW Spain) by the combined use of LiDAR, LANDSAT ETM+ and National Forest Inventory data. iForest 10: 590-596. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1989-010

Academic Editor

Piermaria Corona

Paper history

Received: Jan 20, 2016
Accepted: Mar 12, 2017

First online: May 15, 2017
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2017
Publication Time: 2.13 months

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