Estimation of carbon storage based on individual tree detection in Pinus densiflora stands using a fusion of aerial photography and LiDAR data

So Ra Kim, Doo Ahn Kwak, Woo Kyun oLee, Yowhan Son, Sang Won Bae, Choonsig Kim, Seongjin Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to estimate the carbon storage capacity of Pinus densiflora stands using remotely sensed data by combining digital aerial photography with light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. A digital canopy model (DCM), generated from the LiDAR data, was combined with aerial photography for segmenting crowns of individual trees. To eliminate errors in over and under-segmentation, the combined image was smoothed using a Gaussian filtering method. The processed image was then segmented into individual trees using a marker-controlled watershed segmentation method. After measuring the crown area from the segmented individual trees, the individual tree diameter at breast height (DBH) was estimated using a regression function developed from the relationship observed between the field-measured DBH and crown area. The above ground biomass of individual trees could be calculated by an image-derived DBH using a regression function developed by the Korea Forest Research Institute. The carbon storage, based on individual trees, was estimated by simple multiplication using the carbon conversion index (0.5), as suggested in guidelines from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The mean carbon storage per individual tree was estimated and then compared with the field-measured value. This study suggested that the biomass and carbon storage in a large forest area can be effectively estimated using aerial photographs and LiDAR data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-897
Number of pages13
JournalScience China Life Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was carried out with the support of the ‘Public Applications Research of Satellite Data Project’ (Grant No. FR09662). provided by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. It was also supported by a research grant from the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) (Grant No. A307-K001).


  • LiDAR
  • aerial photograph
  • carbon storage
  • marker-control watershed segmentation
  • region growing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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