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Sharma, RC; Kajiwara, K; Honda, Y (2013). Estimation of forest canopy structural parameters using kernel-driven bi-directional reflectance model based multi-angular vegetation indices. ISPRS JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND REMOTE SENSING, 78, 50-57.

Near-surface bi-directional reflectance and high-spatial resolution true-color imagery of several forested canopies were acquired using an unmanned helicopter. The observed reflectance from multiple view-zenith angles were simulated with a kernel-driven bidirectional reflectance model, and the BRDF parameters were retrieved. Based on the retrieved BRDF parameters, kernel-derived multi-angular vegetation indices (KMVIs) were computed. The potential of KMVI for prediction of canopy structural parameters such as canopy fraction and canopy volume was assessed. The performance of each KMVI was tested by comparison to field measured canopy fraction and canopy volume. For the prediction of canopy fraction, the KMVI that included the nadir-based NDVI performed better than other KMVI emphasizing the importance of nadir observation for remote estimation of the canopy fraction. The Nadir BRDF-adjusted NDVI was found to be superior for the prediction of canopy fraction, which could explain 77% variation of the canopy fraction. However, none of the existing KMVI predicted the canopy volume better than Nadir BRDF-adjusted NDVI and Nadir-view NDVI. The Canopy structural index (CSI) was proposed with the combination of normalized difference between dark-spot near infrared reflectance and hot-spot red reflectance. The CSI could establish an improved relationship with the canopy volume over Nadir BRDF-adjusted NDVI and Nadir-view NDVI, explaining 72% variation in canopy volume. In addition, MODIS based KMVI were evaluated for the prediction of canopy fraction and canopy volume. MODIS based KMVI also showed similar results to the helicopter based KMVI. The promising results shown by the CSI suggest that it could be an appropriate candidate for remote estimation of three-dimensional canopy structure. (C) 2013 International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Inc. (ISPRS) Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



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