Table_1_Drone-Based Assessment of Canopy Cover for Analyzing Tree Mortality in an Oil Palm Agroforest.DOCX (1.3 MB)
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Table_1_Drone-Based Assessment of Canopy Cover for Analyzing Tree Mortality in an Oil Palm Agroforest.DOCX

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posted on 06.03.2020, 06:39 authored by Watit Khokthong, Delphine Clara Zemp, Bambang Irawan, Leti Sundawati, Holger Kreft, Dirk Hölscher

Oil palm monocultures are highly productive, but there are widespread negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Some of these negative impacts might be mitigated by mixed-species tree interplanting to create agroforestry systems, but there is little experience with the performance of trees planted in oil palm plantations. We studied a biodiversity enrichment experiment in the lowlands of Sumatra that was established in a 6- to 12-year-old oil palm plantation by planting six tree species in different mixtures on 48 plots. Three years after tree planting, canopy cover was assessed by drone-based photogrammetry using the structure-from-motion technique. Drone-derived canopy cover estimates were highly correlated with traditional ground-based hemispherical photography along the equality line, indicating the usefulness and comparability of the approach. Canopy cover was further partitioned between oil palm and tree canopies. Thinning of oil palms before tree planting created a more open and heterogeneous canopy cover. Oil palm canopy cover was then extracted at the level of oil palms and individual trees and combined with ground-based mortality assessment for all 3,819 planted trees. For three tree species (Archidendron pauciflorum, Durio zibethinus, and Shorea leprosula), the probability of mortality during the year of the study was dependent on the amount of oil palm canopy cover. We regard the drone-based method for deriving and partitioning spatially explicit information as a promising way for many questions addressing canopy cover in ecological applications and the management of agroforestry systems.

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