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Forests 2017, 8(4), 111; doi:10.3390/f8040111

Combining Airborne and Terrestrial Laser Scanning Technologies to Measure Forest Understorey Volume

1
Institute of Forest Resource Information Techniques, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2
The Research Institute of Resources Insects, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Kunming 650224, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
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Abstract

A critical component of the forest ecosystem, the understorey supports the vast majority of wildlife habitat and total ecosystem floristic diversity. Remote sensing data have been developed to provide information at different scales for surveys of forest ecosystems, but obtaining information about the understorey remains a challenge. As rapid and efficient tools for forest structure attribute estimation, Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) have attracted much attention. We examine the relationship between ALS and TLS data and detect changes in the forest understorey caused by forest-tending events in the study area. We conducted trials in five plots within a young Khasi pine (Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gord.) plantation in Yunnan province, China, before and after forest tending. We collected bi-temporal ALS data in this area and TLS data from 10 scanning stations. Canopy height profiles were retrieved from ALS and TLS data, and understorey material volume retrieved from filled TLS voxels volume agreed well with the understorey point clouds percentile distribution (PD) obtained from ALS data. The PD value for the understorey from ALS multiplied by the percentage of ALS return points in the overstorey had a stronger correlation (R2 = 0.90) with the TLS-derived understorey material volume than did the ALS PD value for the understorey only (R2 = 0.71). Taking the effect of the overstorey into consideration will improve evaluations of forest understorey parameters from ALS data. This study confirmed the potential of TLS as a validation tool to assess the accuracy of forest understorey material volume estimation at large scales using ALS data. View Full-Text
Keywords: ALS; canopy height profile; change detection; forest tending; forest understorey monitoring; TLS ALS; canopy height profile; change detection; forest tending; forest understorey monitoring; TLS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, L.; Pang, Y.; Li, Z.; Si, L.; Liao, S. Combining Airborne and Terrestrial Laser Scanning Technologies to Measure Forest Understorey Volume. Forests 2017, 8, 111.

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