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Estimating tree bole volume using artificial neural network models for four species in Turkey.

Ozçelik R, Diamantopoulou MJ, Brooks JR, Wiant HV

Faculty of Forestry, Süleyman Demirel University, East Campus, 32260 Isparta, Turkey.

Tree bole volumes of 89 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), 96 Brutian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.), 107 Cilicica fir (Abies cilicica Carr.) and 67 Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani A. Rich.) trees were estimated using Artificial Neural Network (ANN) models. Neural networks offer a number of advantages including the ability to implicitly detect complex nonlinear relationships between input and output variables, which is very helpful in tree volume modeling. Two different neural network architectures were used and produced the Back propagation (BPANN) and the Cascade Correlation (CCANN) Artificial Neural Network models. In addition, tree bole volume estimates were compared to other established tree bole volume estimation techniques including the centroid method, taper equations, and existing standard volume tables. An overview of the features of ANNs and traditional methods is presented and the advantages and limitations of each one of them are discussed. For validation purposes, actual volumes were determined by aggregating the volumes of measured short sections (average 1 meter) of the tree bole using Smalian's formula. The results reported in this research suggest that the selected cascade correlation artificial neural network (CCANN) models are reliable for estimating the tree bole volume of the four examined tree species since they gave unbiased results and were superior to almost all methods in terms of error (%) expressed as the mean of the percentage errors.

Published 2 November 2009 in J Environ Manage.
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