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Multidimensional scaling of first-return airborne laser echoes for prediction and model-assisted estimation of a distribution of tree stem diameters
- Magnussen, Steen, Renaud, Jean-Pierre
- Annals of forest science 2016 v.73 no.4 pp. 1089-1098
- canopy, cost effectiveness, diameter, forest inventory, forest trees, frequency distribution, linear models, multidimensional scaling, planning, prediction
- • Key message We demonstrate how multidimensional scaling can be used to combine forest inventory field data and airborne laser scanner data to obtain both predictions and model-assisted estimation of a tree stem diameter distribution.• Context The size distribution of forest trees is important both for management planning and analysis purposes. Yet field samples are rarely large enough to assuage a desired accuracy of a direct estimation in all areas of interest. Improvements in spatial coverage and accuracy are possible with a census—or a very large sample of one or more cost-effective auxiliary variables that can inform one about the tree size distribution.• Aims The objective of this study is to demonstrate how a relative frequency distribution of canopy heights from airborne laser scanner data can be used to improve direct estimates of a tree size distribution.• Methods Multidimensional scaling is used to link a relative frequency distribution of canopy heights to an observed plot-level distribution of tree size.• Results A multivariate linear model can be used for both predictions and model-assisted estimation of a tree stem diameter distribution.• Conclusion Multidimensional scaling can provide a multivariate linear link between two relative frequency distributions and is therefore ideally suited for both stand-level predictions and design-based inference of tree size distributions.