Table of Contents
ISRN Forestry
Volume 2013, Article ID 485264, 8 pages
Research Article

Using Multispectral Spaceborne Imagery to Assess Mean Tree Height in a Dryland Plantation

1Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of The Negev, 84990 Sede Boqer Campus, Israel
2Forest Management and GIS Department, Land Development Authority, Forest Department, Jewish National Fund (KKL), Eshtaol, M.P., 99775 Shimshon, Israel
3Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, 50250 Bet Dagan, Israel

Received 11 April 2013; Accepted 9 May 2013

Academic Editors: M. Kanashiro and H. Zeng

Copyright © 2013 Michael Sprintsin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study presents an approach for low-cost mapping of tree heights at the landscape level. The proposed method integrates parameters related to landscape (slope, orientation, and topographic height), tree size (crown diameter), and competition (crown competition factor and age), and determines the mean stand tree height as a function of tree competitive capability. The model was calibrated and validated against a standard inventory dataset collected over a dryland planted forest in the eastern Mediterranean region. The validation of the model shows a high and significant level of correlation between measured and modeled datasets ( ; ), with almost negligible (less than 1 m) levels of absolute and relative errors. The validated model was implemented for mapping mean tree height on a per-pixel basis by using high-spatial-resolution satellite imagery. The resulting map was, in turn, validated against an independent dataset of ground measurements. The presented approach could help to reduce the need for fieldwork in compiling single-tree-based inventories and to apply surface-roughness properties to hydrometeorological studies and regional energy/water-balance evaluation.