Ground truthing protocols for biomass estimation in rangeland environments
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Remote sensing for the assessment and mapping of total standing biomass relies on accurate ground data for calibration and validation. The spatial heterogeneity of rangelands pose challenges in sampling methodologies, demanding a large number of replicate measurements that are expensive and labour demanding when working on the scale of pastoral stations. In this paper we present a ground truthing protocol that can be used for biomass estimation in heterogeneous rangeland environments, important for the development of assessments based on remote sensing or growth modelling. The protocol is based on a combination of visual estimates, crop circle NDVI, and disk-plate meter height recordings. Relationships between these indirect measurements and biomass were specific for either season or vegetation type. A combination of these measurements in a multivariate regression provided an accurate alternative, while strongly reducing the number of cuts required.
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