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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(3), 2601-2627;

Retrieval of Gap Fraction and Effective Plant Area Index from Phase-Shift Terrestrial Laser Scans

Department of Environmental Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics, University of Trier, D-54286 Trier, Germany
CSIRO Land and Water, Private Bag 10, Clayton South, VIC 3169, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2013 / Revised: 11 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 24 March 2014
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The characterization of canopy structure is crucial for modeling eco-physiological processes. Two commonly used metrics for characterizing canopy structure are the gap fraction and the effective Plant Area Index (PAIe). Both have been successfully retrieved with terrestrial laser scanning. However, a systematic assessment of the influence of the laser scan properties on the retrieval of these metrics is still lacking. This study investigated the effects of resolution, measurement speed, and noise compression on the retrieval of gap fraction and PAIe from phase-shift FARO Photon 120 laser scans. We demonstrate that FARO’s noise compression yields gap fractions and PAIe that deviate significantly from those based on scans without noise compression and strongly overestimate Leaf Area Index (LAI) estimates based on litter trap measurements. Scan resolution and measurement speed were also shown to impact gap fraction and PAIe, but this depended on leaf development phase, stand structure, and LAI calculation method. Nevertheless, PAIe estimates based on various scan parameter combinations without noise compression proved to be quite stable. View Full-Text
Keywords: forestry; LAI; LiDAR; laser scanning; phase-shift forestry; LAI; LiDAR; laser scanning; phase-shift
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Pueschel, P.; Newnham, G.; Hill, J. Retrieval of Gap Fraction and Effective Plant Area Index from Phase-Shift Terrestrial Laser Scans. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 2601-2627.

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