Towards nationwide mapping of bamboo resources in the Philippines: testing the pixel-based and fractional cover approaches

Jan Joseph V. Dida, Arnan B. Araza*, Gerald T. Eduarte, Arthur Glenn A. Umali, Pastor L. Malabrigo, Ramon A. Razal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In tropical and subtropical countries, the awareness on the importance of bamboos to the environment and economy is increasing and so is the demand for spatial bamboo information. However, mapping bamboos especially those naturally grown has been challenging, as these grasses are often mixed with other land-use and land-cover (LULC). In this study, we used Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 remote sensing (RS) images, and their vegetation indices to accurately map the bamboos of Iloilo province in the Philippines using: (1) pixel-based method that mapped bamboos and other LULC at 10 m resolution, and (2) fractional cover method that mapped bamboo cover at 100 m resolution (% ha−1). A random forest model was trained for each method and then validated per hectare basis using a 50:50 training-validation ratio of a stratified random sample. The fractional cover method showed 0.34 higher Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) and 5.10% lower Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) than the pixel-based method. Further validation within upland and lowland sites also favoured the fractional cover method, but the results of the two methods were closer in the upland site (bamboo plantation). Errors at 10 m resolution especially in the lowlands were mostly commission errors, likely because of the spectral similarity and proximity between bamboos and > 14 vegetations. Averaging the RS inputs into 100 m resulted in at most 12% separation of reflectance values among bamboos, forests, and other vegetations. Using the bamboo cover map, a total of 14,795 (± 1,283) ha bamboos and 7.45 (± 4.20) million harvestable culms (poles) were estimated for the whole province, where 54% come from the lowland. We suggest using the fractional cover method for nationwide baselining of bamboo resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3380-3404
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number9
Early online date10 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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