DETERMINATION OF THE FOREST CANOPY COVER USING A LOW-COST COMMERCIAL DRONE IN A TURKEY OAK AND DURMAST OAK STAND IN THE ZARAND MOUNTAINS, ROMANIA PUBLISHEDTiberiu Paul Banu, Gheorghe Florian Borlea, Constantin Banu
The vertical projection of the tree crowns that covers the ground area in a stand is defined as the forest canopy cover and it represents a key element in the forest inventories. In stands where area is over one hectare, the accurate determination of the vertical projection of crowns can be very expensive in terms of costs, time and labor power. In this study we present the potential of a new drone-based method of forest canopy cover determination that could be later implemented in the sustainable management of forests. Aerial images were acquired in a turkey oak and durmast oak stand located in the Zarand Mountains of Romania with the use of a low-cost commercial drone. The tree crowns were delineated based on an orthomosaic that was assembled using the collected images. Further, forest canopy cover percentage was calculated. Current study results were compared with the traditional ground-based field estimation and the advantages of current methodology were discussed in terms of accuracy, labor power and time spent.
forest canopy cover, drone, UAV, remote sensing