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Terrestrial laser scanning for plot-scale forest measurement

Newnham, GJ, Armston, JD, Calders, K, Disney, MI, Lovell, JL, Schaaf, CB, Strahler, AH and Danson, FM 2015, 'Terrestrial laser scanning for plot-scale forest measurement' , Current Forestry Reports, 1 (4) , pp. 239-251.

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Plot-scale measurements have been the foundation for forest surveys and reporting for over 200 years. Through recent integration with airborne and satellite remote sensing, manual measurements of vegetation structure at the plot scale are now the basis for landscape, continental and international mapping of our forest resources. The use of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) for plot-scale measurement was first demonstrated over a decade ago, with the intimation that these instruments could replace manual measurement methods. This has not yet been the case, despite the unparalleled structural information that TLS can capture. For TLS to reach its full potential, these instruments cannot be viewed as a logical progression of existing plot-based measurement. TLS must be viewed as a disruptive technology that requires a rethink of vegetation surveys and their application across a wide range of disciplines. We review the development of TLS as a plotscale measurement tool, including the evolution of both instrument hardware and key data processing methodologies. We highlight two broad data modelling approaches of gap probability and geometrical modelling and the basic theory that underpins these. Finally, we discuss the future prospects for increasing the utilisation of TLS for plot-scale forest assessment and forest monitoring.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Current Forestry Reports
Publisher: Springer International Publishing AG
ISSN: 2198-6436
Related URLs:
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Depositing User: WM Taylor
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2015 13:33
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 19:37

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