Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (7): 796-812.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019197

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Classification and identification of plant species based on multi-source remote sensing data: Research progress and prospect

Kong Jiaxin1,2,Zhang Zhaochen1,2,*(),Zhang Jian1,2   

  1. 1 Zhejiang Tiantong Forest Ecosystem National Observation and Research Station, School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241
    2 Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, Shanghai 200092
  • Received:2019-06-17 Accepted:2019-07-11 Online:2019-07-20 Published:2019-08-21
  • Contact: Zhang Zhaochen


Species classification and identification is the basis of biodiversity monitoring, and is critical to deal with almost all ecological questions. In this paper, we aim to understand the current status and existing problems in plant species classification and identification using multi-source remote sensing data. We summarized the studies in this field since the year 2000, and found that most of these studies focus on temperate or boreal forests in Europe and North America, or African savanna. Airborne hyperspectral data is the most widely used remote sensing data source, and the LiDAR, as a supplementary data, significantly improves the classification accuracy through the information of single tree segmentation and three-dimensional vertical structure. Support vector machine and random forest are the most widely used non-parametric classification algorithms with an average classification accuracy of 80%. With the development of computer technology and machine learning, artificial neural network has developed rapidly in species identification. Based on the literature-based analysis, we propose that the current research in this field is still facing some challenges, including the complexity of classification objects, the effective integration of multi-source remote sensing data, the integration of plant phenology and texture characteristics, and the improvement in plant classification algorithm. The accuracy of plant classification and identification could be greatly improved by using the high-frequency data collection over time, the integration of hyperspectral and LiDAR data, the use of specific spectral information such as short-wave infrared imagery, and the development of novel deep learning techniques.

Key words: species classification, species identification, remote sensing monitoring, biodiversity, supervised classification