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Data from: A hyperspectral image can predict tropical tree growth rates in single-species stands


Caughlin, T. Trevor et al. (2016), Data from: A hyperspectral image can predict tropical tree growth rates in single-species stands, Dryad, Dataset,


Remote sensing is increasingly needed to meet the critical demand for estimates of forest structure and composition at landscape to continental scales. Hyperspectral images can detect tree canopy properties, including species identity, leaf chemistry and disease. Tree growth rates are related to these measurable canopy properties but whether growth can be directly predicted from hyperspectral data remains unknown. We used a single hyperspectral image and LiDAR-derived elevation to predict growth rates for twenty tropical tree species planted in experimental plots. We asked whether a consistent relationship between spectral data and growth rates exists across all species and which spectral regions, associated with different canopy chemical and structural properties, are important for predicting growth rates. We found that a linear combination of narrowband indices and elevation is correlated with standardized growth rates across all twenty tree species (R2=53.70%). Although wavelengths from the entire visible-to-shortwave infrared spectrum were involved in our analysis, results point to relatively greater importance of visible and near-infrared regions for relating canopy reflectance to tree growth data. Overall, we demonstrate the potential for hyperspectral data to quantify tree demography over a much larger area than possible with field-based methods in forest inventory plots.

Usage Notes


National Science Foundation, Award: 1415297


Central America
Azuero Peninsula