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Natural Resources Science


Accurate forest above-ground biomass (AGB) mapping is crucial for sustaining forest management and carbon cycle tracking. The Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) and Sentinel satellite series offer opportunities for forest AGB monitoring. In this study, predictors filtered from 121 variables from Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR), Sentinal-2 multispectral instrument (MSI) and SRTM digital elevation model (DEM) data were composed into four groups and evaluated for their effectiveness in prediction of AGB. Five evaluated algorithms include linear regression such as stepwise regression (SWR) and geographically weighted regression (GWR); machine learning (ML) such as artificial neural network (ANN), support vector machine for regression (SVR), and random forest (RF). The results showed that the RF model used predictors from both the Sentinel series and SRTM DEM performed the best, based on the independent validation set. The RF model achieved accuracy with the mean error, mean absolute error, root mean square error, and correlation coefficient in 1.39, 25.48, 61.11 Mg·ha−1 and 0.9769, respectively. Texture characteristics, reflectance, vegetation indices, elevation, stream power index, topographic wetness index and surface roughness were recommended predictors for AGB prediction. Predictor variables were more important than algorithms for improving the accuracy of AGB estimates. The study demonstrated encouraging results in the optimal combination of predictors and algorithms for forest AGB mapping, using openly accessible and fine-resolution data based on RF algorithms.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.