GARIBALDI Lucas Alejandro
Applying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to map shrubland structural attributes in northern Patagonia, Argentina
GONZÁLEZ MUSSO, ROMINA; ODDI, FACUNDO; GOLDENBERG, MATÍAS; GARIBALDI, LUCAS
CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH
NATL RESEARCH COUNCIL CANADA-N R C RESEARCH PRESS
Lugar: Otawa; Año: 2020 p. 1 - 9
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have gained attention for forestry applications in recent years. These technologies provide very high-resolution spatial data for detailed mapping of forest structure, among other forestry applications. UAVs have been mainly tested in high timber value stands but little is known about their performance in other woody ecosystems such as shrublands that also provide key ecosystem services. Field measurements in shrublands are time-consuming, so UAVs could provide data for shrubland management and conservation. We tested whether UAVs could map common structural attributes in shrublands of northwestern Patagonia. We specifically evaluated the capability of UAV point-clouds for mapping a) canopy height, b) stand density, c) basal area, and d) volume. The agreement with the field measurements was satisfactory (R2 was up to 0.95 and rRSME ranged between 12% and 39%) and comparable to those found on coniferous forests in similar studies. This study is a first attempt to characterize the structure of Patagonian shrublands using UAV data. In spite of the challenges and methodological aspects to solve, our results encourage the use of UAVs in these types of ecosystems.