Vegetation fractional coverage (VFC) is one of the key indicators of vegetation distribution. In the work a measurement-based model was developed to derive total forest VFC (TG) as well as the VFC of trees (T) and shrub-grasses (G) separately in a subtropical forest area in Nanjing, China. Both upward and downward photographs were taken with a digital camera in 72 quadrats (10 m × 10 m each). Fifteen models were established and validated. Models jointly using both T and G performed better than those using the T and G separately. The best model, TG = T + G - 1.134 × T × G - 0.025 (R2 =0.9115, P < 0.01, root mean squared error = 0.0789), is recommended for application. This model provides a good way to obtain total forest VFC values through taking tree and shrub-grass photos on ground below tree canopy rather than above tree canopy.
- 2-layer photography
- digital camera