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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(6), 531; doi:10.3390/rs9060531

Examination of the Potential of Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Structure-from-Motion Photogrammetry for Rapid Nondestructive Field Measurement of Grass Biomass

1
Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence & Department of Geography, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
2
School for the Environment, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Juha Hyyppä and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract

Above ground biomass (AGB) is a parameter commonly used for assessment of grassland systems. Destructive AGB measurements, although accurate, are time consuming and are not easily undertaken on a repeat basis or over large areas. Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) are two technologies that have the potential to yield precise 3D structural measurements of vegetation quite rapidly. Recent advances have led to the successful application of TLS and SfM in woody biomass estimation, but application in natural grassland systems remains largely untested. The potential of these techniques for AGB estimation is examined considering 11 grass plots with a range of biomass in South Dakota, USA. Volume metrics extracted from the TLS and SfM 3D point clouds, and also conventional disc pasture meter settling heights, were compared to destructively harvested AGB total (grass and litter) and AGB grass plot measurements. Although the disc pasture meter was the most rapid method, it was less effective in AGB estimation (AGBgrass r2 = 0.42, AGBtotal r2 = 0.32) than the TLS (AGBgrass r2 = 0.46, AGBtotal r2 = 0.57) or SfM (AGBgrass r2 = 0.54, AGBtotal r2 = 0.72) which both demonstrated their utility for rapid AGB estimation of grass systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: compact biomass LiDAR (CBL); terrestrial laser scanning (TLS); Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry; grass; volume; aboveground biomass (AGB); disc pasture meter compact biomass LiDAR (CBL); terrestrial laser scanning (TLS); Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry; grass; volume; aboveground biomass (AGB); disc pasture meter
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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

Cooper, S.D.; Roy, D.P.; Schaaf, C.B.; Paynter, I. Examination of the Potential of Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Structure-from-Motion Photogrammetry for Rapid Nondestructive Field Measurement of Grass Biomass. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 531.

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