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Comparing canopy metrics derived from terrestrial and airborne laser scanning in a Douglas-fir dominated forest stand

Comparing canopy metrics derived from terrestrial and airborne laser scanning in a Douglas-fir dominated forest stand
Comparing canopy metrics derived from terrestrial and airborne laser scanning in a Douglas-fir dominated forest stand
Accurate estimates of vegetation structure are important for a large number of applications including ecological modeling and carbon budgets. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) measures the three-dimensional structure of vegetation using laser beams. Most LiDAR applications today rely on airborne platforms for data acquisitions, which typically record between 1 and 5 “discrete” returns for each outgoing laser pulse. Although airborne LiDAR allows sampling of canopy characteristics at stand and landscape level scales, this method is largely insensitive to below canopy biomass, such as understorey and trunk volumes, as these elements are often occluded by the upper parts of the crown, especially in denser canopies. As a supplement to airborne laser scanning (ALS), a number of recent studies used terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) for the biomass estimation in spatially confined areas. One such instrument is the Echidna® Validation Instrument (EVI), which is configured to fully digitize the returned energy of an emitted laser pulse to establish a complete profile of the observed vegetation elements. In this study we assess and compare a number of canopy metrics derived from airborne and TLS. Three different experiments were conducted using discrete return ALS data and discrete and full waveform observations derived from the EVI. Although considerable differences were found in the return distribution of both systems, ALS and TLS were both able to accurately determine canopy height (? height < 2.5 m) and the vertical distribution of foliage and leaf area (0.86 > r 2 > 0.90, p < 0.01). When using more spatially explicit approaches for modeling the biomass and volume throughout the stands, the differences between ALS and TLS observations were more distinct; however, predictable patterns exist based on sensor position and configuration.
LiDAR, terrestrial LiDAR, canopy architecture, leaf area, canopy volume, echidna, EVI, fluxnet, full waveform LiDAR
0931-1890
819-832
Hilker, Thomas
c7fb75b8-320d-49df-84ba-96c9ee523d40
van Leeuwen, Martin
d0b420da-8c90-41c3-a047-eabd517dbd0b
Coops, Nicholas C.
5511e778-fec2-4f54-8708-de65ba5a0992
Wulder, Michael A.
13414360-db3d-4d88-a76d-ccffd69d0084
Newnham, Glenn J.
461f980e-fd0f-40f2-98c0-2f33f8611b44
Jupp, David L.B.
76002973-72c5-4918-8fed-1566875558ab
Culvenor, Darius S.
5a9065a0-c5a2-4220-b704-5e241b5b988d
Hilker, Thomas
c7fb75b8-320d-49df-84ba-96c9ee523d40
van Leeuwen, Martin
d0b420da-8c90-41c3-a047-eabd517dbd0b
Coops, Nicholas C.
5511e778-fec2-4f54-8708-de65ba5a0992
Wulder, Michael A.
13414360-db3d-4d88-a76d-ccffd69d0084
Newnham, Glenn J.
461f980e-fd0f-40f2-98c0-2f33f8611b44
Jupp, David L.B.
76002973-72c5-4918-8fed-1566875558ab
Culvenor, Darius S.
5a9065a0-c5a2-4220-b704-5e241b5b988d

Hilker, Thomas, van Leeuwen, Martin, Coops, Nicholas C., Wulder, Michael A., Newnham, Glenn J., Jupp, David L.B. and Culvenor, Darius S. (2010) Comparing canopy metrics derived from terrestrial and airborne laser scanning in a Douglas-fir dominated forest stand. Trees, 24 (5), 819-832. (doi:10.1007/s00468-010-0452-7).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Accurate estimates of vegetation structure are important for a large number of applications including ecological modeling and carbon budgets. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) measures the three-dimensional structure of vegetation using laser beams. Most LiDAR applications today rely on airborne platforms for data acquisitions, which typically record between 1 and 5 “discrete” returns for each outgoing laser pulse. Although airborne LiDAR allows sampling of canopy characteristics at stand and landscape level scales, this method is largely insensitive to below canopy biomass, such as understorey and trunk volumes, as these elements are often occluded by the upper parts of the crown, especially in denser canopies. As a supplement to airborne laser scanning (ALS), a number of recent studies used terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) for the biomass estimation in spatially confined areas. One such instrument is the Echidna® Validation Instrument (EVI), which is configured to fully digitize the returned energy of an emitted laser pulse to establish a complete profile of the observed vegetation elements. In this study we assess and compare a number of canopy metrics derived from airborne and TLS. Three different experiments were conducted using discrete return ALS data and discrete and full waveform observations derived from the EVI. Although considerable differences were found in the return distribution of both systems, ALS and TLS were both able to accurately determine canopy height (? height < 2.5 m) and the vertical distribution of foliage and leaf area (0.86 > r 2 > 0.90, p < 0.01). When using more spatially explicit approaches for modeling the biomass and volume throughout the stands, the differences between ALS and TLS observations were more distinct; however, predictable patterns exist based on sensor position and configuration.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 29 May 2010
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 June 2010
Published date: October 2010
Keywords: LiDAR, terrestrial LiDAR, canopy architecture, leaf area, canopy volume, echidna, EVI, fluxnet, full waveform LiDAR
Organisations: Global Env Change & Earth Observation, Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 384699
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/384699
ISSN: 0931-1890
PURE UUID: bd2d6881-9507-436e-8035-02d7dc52e9b2

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jan 2016 14:05
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:55

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