Estimating and Mapping Mangrove Biomass Dynamic Change Using WorldView-2 Images and Digital Surface Models

Yuanhui Zhu, Kai Liu, Lin Liu, Soe W. Myint, Shugong Wang, Jingjing Cao, Zhifeng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Mapping and quantification of biomass changes is critical to understanding mangrove carbon sequestration, conservation, and restoration. Few previous studies have focused on mangrove biomass changes based on high spatial resolution images, particularly for disturbed and recovering areas. This study developed an effective model to estimate and map mangrove aboveground biomass dynamic change between 2010 and 2016 on Qi'ao Island in South China. The study area includes native Kandelia candel (K. candel) and planted Sonneratia apetala (S. apetala) mangrove species within the largest planted area in China. Models were developed using WorldView-2 images, digital surface models (DSMs), and the random forest algorithm. Accuracies of the model were assessed using multiyear field samples. DSMs were identified as the most important variable for model accuracy, reducing relative error by up to 3.14%. Three models were developed: a model for 2010, another model for 2016, and a combined model for 2010 and 2016. Compared with the 2010 (RMSE = 41.03 t/ha, RMSEr = 24.31%) and 2016 (RMSE = 39.92 t/ha, RMSEr = 23.40%) models, the combined model (RMSE = 50.99 t/ha, RMSEr = 30.48%) only increased the relative error by 6.17% and 7.08%, respectively. Mangrove biomass maps generated from the most accurate models showed total biomass increased from 23270.43 to 39819.03 tons by up to 71.11% over the study period. K. candel total biomass decreased by 36.5% due to Derris trifoliata challenge. S. apetala total biomass increased by 74.79% due to reforestation programs, achieving aboveground biomass accumulation of 4.17 t/ha for stands that existed in 2010. This study provides insights into biomass dynamic change in disturbed and recovering mangrove areas. Future studies should consider using LiDAR techniques to obtain actual tree height applied for biomass estimation instead of DSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9089293
Pages (from-to)2123-2134
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
StatePublished - 2020


  • Biomass change
  • WorldView-2 images
  • digital surface models (DSMs)
  • mangrove species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science


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