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TitleRetrieving crown leaf area index from an individual tree using ground-based lidar data
AuthorMoorthy, I; Miller, J R; Hu, B; Chen, J; Li, Q
SourceCanadian Journal of Remote Sensing vol. 34, no. 3, 2008 p. 320-332,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20181530
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsgeophysics; remote sensing
ProgramCanada Centre for Remote Sensing Divsion
AbstractLight detection and ranging (lidar) sensors, both at the terrestrial and airborne levels, have recently emerged as useful tools for three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of vegetated environments. One such terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) is the Intelligent Laser Ranging and Imaging System (ILRIS-3D). The objective of this research was to develop approaches to use ILRIS-3D data to retrieve structural information of an artificial tree in a controlled laboratory experiment. The key crown-level structural parameters investigated in this study were gap fraction, leaf area index (LAI), and clumping index. Measured XYZ point cloud data from a systematically pruned tree were sliced to retrieve laser pulse return density profiles, which subsequently were used to estimate gap fraction, LAI, and clumping index. Gap fraction estimates were cross-validated with traditional methods of histogram thresholding of digital photographs (r2 = 0.95). LAI estimates from lidar data were corrected for the confounding effects of woody material and nonrandom foliage distribution and then compared with direct LAI measurements (r2 = 0.98, RMSE = 0.26). The methods developed in this research provide valuable lessons for application to field-level TLS data for structural parameter retrievals. Successful demonstration of analysis protocols to extract crown-level structural parameters like gap fraction, LAI, and clumping index from TLS data will be important for detailed assessments of 3D canopy radiative transfer modeling and likely will lead to more robust inversion algorithms.

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