Estimation of above ground biomass of dry savannah trees in Serowe savannah woodland, Botswana using remote sensing and GIS

B.R. Mabowe, A. de Gier, Y.A. Hussin, M. Lubczynski, O.T. Obakeng

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Quantitative assessment of aboveground woody biomass in terms of volume, fresh and dry weight per unit area is a useful way to provide estimates of various tree components that can be harvested. This is more relevant to Botswana forests and woodlands since 53 % of the population depends on wood resources for energy purposes in the form of fuel wood. However, the approaches used to quantify the resources can be laborious and time consuming and hence costly. Data on aboveground woody biomass in Botswana is unreliable and scanty. In this research two biomass estimation methods: model stem and sub-sampling were compared in terms of time use efficiency and reliability. It was found that model stem method was very
efficient in time usage but not it was reliable. However, sub-sampling method, which was also efficient in terms of time usage in the field, found to be reliable and a better than stem model. Sub-sampling method provides on the field estimates of wood volume and fresh weight. A few light weight equipment is required for the application of this method and field work can be carried out by only two people. Tree species
sampled were Terminalia sericea, Dichrostachys cinerea, Ochna pulchra, Burkea Africana, Lonchocarpus nelsii, Boscia albitrunca and Acacia fleckii. Data were collected from 169 sampling plots in the field. Next, the potential of satellite based remote sensing techniques combined with biomass estimation method for quantitative assessment of aboveground woody biomass in Serowe savannah woodlands, Botswana was investigated. An IKONOS high spatial resolution satellite image of February, 2002 was used to derive spectral vegetation indices namely: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and Perpendicular Vegetation Index (PVI). Data from vegetation indices maps were correlated with above ground biomass field data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAARSE 2006
Subtitle of host publicationProceeding of the 6th AARSE international conference on earth observation and geoinformation sciences in support of Africa's development, 30 October - 2 November 2006, Cairo, Egypt
Place of PublicationCairo, Egypt
PublisherNational Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Science (NARSS)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)1-920-01710-0
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event6th African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) Conference 2006: Earth Observation & Geoinformation Sciences in Support of Africa’s Development - Cairo, Egypt
Duration: 30 Oct 20062 Nov 2006
Conference number: 6


Conference6th African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) Conference 2006


  • WRS
  • NRS
  • ADLIB-ART-1358


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