Estimation of managed loblolly pine stand age and density with Landsat ETM+ data Academic Article uri icon


  • We analyzed the relationship between Landsat ETM+ reflectance values and commercially managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) stand characteristics in east Texas. Multivariate regression techniques were used to predict age and tree density for all stands. A linear combination of NDVI, ETM4/ETM3 and the tasseled cap wetness index was a better predictor of stand age (R2 = 78%) than other combinations of original bands and derived indices. However, models involving transformed bands did not improve the overall predictability of stand density (R2 = 60%). Results from the principal component analyses (PCA) conducted on mature stands (age > 18 years) yielded valuable information about the relationship between stand structure and reflectance values recorded by the ETM+ sensor. The first principal component was interpreted as a measure of stand complexity. A linear regression model with infrared bands 4 and 5 as independent variables was able to account for 76% of the variability in stand structure. A second model with transformed bands did not increase the amount of variability in stand structure. Results obtained from this study demonstrate the relationship between loblolly pine stand characteristics and ETM+ reflectance values and the utility of certain transformed bands. Forest managers could use ETM+ data for gaining insights about stand characteristics and this information would be also useful for generating maps required for developing forest management plans. 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Sivanpillai, R., Smith, C. T., Srinivasan, R., Messina, M. G., & Ben Wu, X.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • Sivanpillai, R||Smith, CT||Srinivasan, R||Messina, MG||Ben Wu, X

publication date

  • March 2006