The accurate estimation of leaf area is of great importance for the acquisition of information on the forest canopy structure. Currently, direct harvesting is used to obtain leaf area; however, it is difficult to quickly and effectively extract the leaf area of a forest. Although remote sensing technology can obtain leaf area by using a wide range of leaf area estimates, such technology cannot accurately estimate leaf area at small spatial scales. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of terrestrial laser scanning data to achieve a fast, accurate, and non-destructive estimation of individual tree leaf area. We use terrestrial laser scanning data to obtain 3D point cloud data for individual tree canopies of Pinus massoniana
. Using voxel conversion, we develop a model for the number of voxels and canopy leaf area and then apply it to the 3D data. The results show significant positive correlations between reference leaf area and mass (R2
= 0.8603; p
< 0.01). Our findings demonstrate that using terrestrial laser point cloud data with a layer thickness of 0.1 m and voxel size of 0.05 m can effectively improve leaf area estimations. We verify the suitability of the voxel-based method for estimating the leaf area of P. massoniana
and confirmed the effectiveness of this non-destructive method.
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