NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Tropical forest biomass and successional age class relationships to a vegetation index derived from Landsat TM dataForest stand structure and biomass data were collected using conventional forest inventory techniques in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate forest biomes. The feasibility of detecting tropical forest successional age class and total biomass differences using Landsat-Thematic mapper (TM) data, was evaluated. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) calculated from Landsat-TM data were not significantly correlated with forest regeneration age classes in the mountain terrain of the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. The low sun angle and shadows cast on steep north and west facing slopes reduced spectral reflectance values recorded by TM orbital altitude. The NDVI, calculated from low altitude aircraft scanner data, was significatly correlated with forest age classes. However, analysis of variance suggested that NDVI differences were not detectable for successional forests older than approximately 15-20 years. Also, biomass differences in young successional tropical forest were not detectable using the NDVI. The vegetation index does not appear to be a good predictor of stand structure variables (e.g., height, diameter of main stem) or total biomass in uneven age, mixed broadleaf forest. Good correlation between the vegetation index and low biomass in even age pine plantations were achieved for a warm temperate study site. The implications of the study for the use of NDVI for forest structure and biomass estimation are discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Sader, Steven A. (Maine, University Orono, United States)
Waide, Robert B. (Maine Univ. Orono, ME, United States)
Lawrence, William T. (Universidad de Puerto Rico Rio Piedras, United States)
Joyce, Armond T. (NASA John C. Stennis Space Center Bay Saint Louis, MS, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: Remote Sensing of Environment
Volume: 28
ISSN: 0034-4257
Subject Category
Distribution Limits