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WorldView-2 multispectral wavebands (8 wavebands; 427–908 nm spectral range; 2 m spatial resolution) were utilized to classify six commercial forest species (Eucalyptus grandis, Eucalyptus nitens, Eucalyptus smithii, Pinus patula, Pinus elliotii and Acacia mearnsii) in South Africa using the partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) technique. Results indicate that the WorldView-2 imagery produced an overall accuracy of 85.42% and a kappa statistic value of 0.83, with individual forest species accuracies ranging between 63% and 100%. The variable importance in the projection (VIP) method was then used to identify the most important wavebands that were most effective in discriminating the forest species. Four VIP bands were ranked with thresholds greater than one and produced an overall accuracy of 84.38% and kappa value of 0.81, with individual forest species accuracies between 69% and 100%. More specifically, the VIP bands that were found to be important in the classification were the coastal blue (427 nm), blue (478 nm), green (546 nm) and red (659 nm) and confirmed the relative importance of the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum in discriminating forest species. Overall, results indicate that multispectral information characterized by greater spatial resolution can successfully discriminate between and within forest species, thus providing an accurate framework for commercial forest species mapping.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:PP , Issue: 99 )