SECTION-BASED TREE SPECIES IDENTIFICATION USING AIRBORNE LIDAR POINT CLOUD
The application of LiDAR data in forestry initially focused on mapping forest community, particularly and primarily intended for largescale forest management and planning. Then with the smaller footprint and higher sampling density LiDAR data available, detecting individual tree overstory, estimating crowns parameters and identifying tree species are demonstrated practicable. This paper proposes a section-based protocol of tree species identification taking palm tree as an example. Section-based method is to detect objects through certain profile among different direction, basically along X-axis or Y-axis. And this method improve the utilization of spatial information to generate accurate results. Firstly, separate the tree points from manmade-object points by decision-tree-based rules, and create Crown Height Mode (CHM) by subtracting the Digital Terrain Model (DTM) from the digital surface model (DSM). Then calculate and extract key points to locate individual trees, thus estimate specific tree parameters related to species information, such as crown height, crown radius, and cross point etc. Finally, with parameters we are able to identify certain tree species. Comparing to species information measured on ground, the portion correctly identified trees on all plots could reach up to 90.65 %. The identification result in this research demonstrate the ability to distinguish palm tree using LiDAR point cloud. Furthermore, with more prior knowledge, section-based method enable the process to classify trees into different classes.