A Review of Estimation Methods for Aboveground Biomass in Grasslands Using UAV

Autoren: Clara Oliva Gonçalves Bazzo, Bahareh Kamali, Christoph Hütt, Georg Bareth, Thomas Gaiser

GreenGrass   |   01.2023    peer reviewed
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Grasslands are one of the world’s largest ecosystems, accounting for 30% of total terrestrial biomass. Considering that aboveground biomass (AGB) is one of the most essential ecosystem services in grasslands, an accurate and faster method for estimating AGB is critical for managing, protecting, and promoting ecosystem sustainability. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as a useful and practical tool for achieving this goal. Here, we review recent research studies that employ UAVs to estimate AGB in grassland ecosystems. We summarize different methods to establish a comprehensive workflow, from data collection in the field to data processing. For this purpose, 64 research articles were reviewed, focusing on several features including study site, grassland species composition, UAV platforms, flight parameters, sensors, field measurement, biomass indices, data processing, and analysis methods. The results demonstrate that there has been an increase in scientific research evaluating the use of UAVs in AGB estimation in grasslands during the period 2018–2022. Most of the studies were carried out in three countries (Germany, China, and USA), which indicates an urgent need for research in other locations where grassland ecosystems are abundant. We found RGB imaging was the most commonly used and is the most suitable for estimating AGB in grasslands at the moment, in terms of cost–benefit and data processing simplicity. In 50% of the studies, at least one vegetation index was used to estimate AGB; the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was the most common. The most popular methods for data analysis were linear regression, partial least squares regression (PLSR), and random forest. Studies that used spectral and structural data showed that models incorporating both data types outperformed models utilizing only one. We also observed that research in this field has been limited both spatially and temporally. For example, only a small number of papers conducted studies over a number of years and in multiple places, suggesting that the protocols are not transferable to other locations and time points. Despite these limitations, and in the light of the rapid advances, we anticipate that UAV methods for AGB estimation in grasslands will continue improving and may become commercialized for farming applications in the near future.

Publikationsdatum: 01.2023

Verlag: MDPI AG

Quelle: Remote Sensing | 3 | 639 | 15

Publikationstyp: Journal-Artikel