volume: 43, issue:
Cross-cutting of a tree into a set of assortments (»bucking pattern«) presents a large potential for optimizing the volume and value recovery; therefore, bucking pattern optimization has been studied extensively in the past. However, it has not seen widespread adoption in chainsaw bucking, where time consuming and costly manual measurement of input parameters is required for taper curve estimation. The present study investigated an alternative approach, where taper curves are fit based on terrestrial laser scanning data (TLS), and how deviations from observed taper curves (REF) affect the result of bucking pattern optimization. In addition, performance of TLS was compared to a traditional, segmental taper curve estimation approach (APP) and an experienced chainsaw operator’s solution (CHA).
A mature Norway Spruce stand was surveyed by stationary terrestrial laser scanning. In TLS, taper curves were fit by a mixed-effects B-spline regression approach to stem diameters extracted from 3D point cloud data. A network analysis technique algorithm was used for bucking pattern optimization during harvesting. Stem diameter profiles and the chainsaw operator’s bucking pattern were obtained by manual measurement. The former was used for post-operation fit of REF taper curves by the same approach as in TLS. APP taper curves were fit based on part of the data. For 35 trees, TLS and APP taper curves were compared to REF on tree, trunk and crown section level. REF and APP bucking patterns were optimized with the same algorithm as in TLS. For 30 trees, TLS, APP and CHA bucking patterns were compared to REF on operation and tree level.
Taper curves were estimated with high accuracy and precision (underestimated by 0.2 cm on average (SD=1.5 cm); RMSE=1.5 cm) in TLS and the fit outperformed APP. Volume and value recovery were marginally higher in TLS (0.6%; 0.9%) than in REF on operation level, while substantial differences were observed for APP (–6.1%; –4.1%). Except for cumulated nominal length, no significant differences were observed between TLS and REF on tree level, while APP result was inferior throughout. Volume and value recovery in CHA was significantly higher (2.1%; 2.4%), but mainly due to a small disadvantage of the optimization algorithm.
The investigated approach based on terrestrial laser scanning data proved to provide highly accurate and precise estimations of the taper curves. Therefore, it can be considered a further step towards increased accuracy, precision and efficiency of bucking pattern optimization in chainsaw bucking.