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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(5), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11050510

Performance of Laser-Based Electronic Devices for Structural Analysis of Amazonian Terra-Firme Forests

1
Coordenação de Dinâmica Ambiental, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Av. André Araújo 2936, Petrópolis, Manaus, AM 69067-375, Brazil
2
Coordenação de Biodiversidade, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Av. André Araújo 2936, Petrópolis, Manaus, AM 69067-375, Brazil
3
Department of Geography, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
4
NERC National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
5
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of Plant Biology, Institute For Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
6
Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras (FFCLRP-USP) Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14040-900, Brazil
7
Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, 6700AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
8
Center for Meteorological and Climatic Research Applied to Agriculture, University of Campinas, Campinas, SP 13083-886, Brazil
9
School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JN, UK
10
Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
11
Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6301, USA
12
Center for Earth System Science, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos, SP 12227-010, Brazil
13
School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85356 Freising, Germany
14
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Schlossplatz 1, Laxenburg A-2361, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Tropical vegetation biomass represents a key component of the carbon stored in global forest ecosystems. Estimates of aboveground biomass commonly rely on measurements of tree size (diameter and height) and then indirectly relate, via allometric relationships and wood density, to biomass sampled from a relatively small number of harvested and weighed trees. Recently, however, novel in situ remote sensing techniques have been proposed, which may provide nondestructive alternative approaches to derive biomass estimates. Nonetheless, we still lack knowledge of the measurement uncertainties, as both the calibration and validation of estimates using different techniques and instruments requires consistent assessment of the underlying errors. To that end, we investigate different approaches estimating the tropical aboveground biomass in situ. We quantify the total and systematic errors among measurements obtained from terrestrial light detection and ranging (LiDAR), hypsometer-based trigonometry, and traditional forest inventory. We show that laser-based estimates of aboveground biomass are in good agreement (<10% measurement uncertainty) with traditional measurements. However, relative uncertainties vary among the allometric equations based on the vegetation parameters used for parameterization. We report the error metrics for measurements of tree diameter and tree height and discuss the consequences for estimated biomass. Despite methodological differences detected in this study, we conclude that laser-based electronic devices could complement conventional measurement techniques, thereby potentially improving estimates of tropical vegetation biomass. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon storage; central-eastern Amazonia; forest structure; terra-firme forest; terrestrial laser scanning; light detection and ranging (LiDAR) carbon storage; central-eastern Amazonia; forest structure; terra-firme forest; terrestrial laser scanning; light detection and ranging (LiDAR)
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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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Pereira, I.S.; Mendonça do Nascimento, H.E.; Boni Vicari, M.; Disney, M.; DeLucia, E.H.; Domingues, T.; Kruijt, B.; Lapola, D.; Meir, P.; Norby, R.J.; Ometto, J.P.; Quesada, C.A.; Rammig, A.; Hofhansl, F. Performance of Laser-Based Electronic Devices for Structural Analysis of Amazonian Terra-Firme Forests. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 510.

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