In the last few years, the occurrence and abundance of tree-related microhabitats and habitat trees have gained great attention across Europe as indicators of forest biodiversity. Nevertheless, observing microhabitats in the field requires time and well-trained staff. For this reason, new efficient semiautomatic systems for their identification and mapping on a large scale are necessary. This study aims at predicting microhabitats in a mixed and multi-layered Mediterranean forest using Airborne Laser Scanning data through the implementation of a Machine Learning algorithm. The study focuses on the identification of LiDAR metrics useful for detecting microhabitats according to the recent hierarchical classification system for Tree-related Microhabitats, from single microhabitats to the habitat trees. The results demonstrate that Airborne Laser Scanning point clouds support the prediction of microhabitat abundance. Better prediction capabilities were obtained at a higher hierarchical level and for some of the single microhabitats, such as epiphytic bryophytes, root buttress cavities, and branch holes. Metrics concerned with tree height distribution and crown density are the most important predictors of microhabitats in a multi-layered forest.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rs12132142|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000554959400001|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-85087544650|
|Titolo:||Machine learning algorithms to predict tree-related microhabitats using airborne laser scanning|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|