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Open AccessArticle

Assessing Metrics for Estimating Fire Induced Change in the Forest Understorey Structure Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning

1
School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
2
Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Randolph H. Wynne and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(6), 8180-8201; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs70608180
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Quantifying post-fire effects in a forested landscape is important to ascertain burn severity, ecosystem recovery and post-fire hazard assessments and mitigation planning. Reporting of such post-fire effects assumes significance in fire-prone countries such as USA, Australia, Spain, Greece and Portugal where prescribed burns are routinely carried out. This paper describes the use of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) to estimate and map change in the forest understorey following a prescribed burn. Eighteen descriptive metrics are derived from bi-temporal TLS which are used to analyse and visualise change in a control and fire-altered plot. Metrics derived are Above Ground Height-based (AGH) percentiles and heights, point count and mean intensity. Metrics such as AGH50change, mean AGHchange and point countchange are sensitive enough to detect subtle fire-induced change (28%–52%) whilst observing little or no change in the control plot (0–4%). A qualitative examination with field measurements of the spatial distribution of burnt areas and percentage area burnt also show similar patterns. This study is novel in that it examines the behaviour of TLS metrics for estimating and mapping fire induced change in understorey structure in a single-scan mode with a minimal fixed reference system. Further, the TLS-derived metrics can be used to produce high resolution maps of change in the understorey landscape. View Full-Text
Keywords: terrestrial LiDAR; change detection; understorey; prescribed burns; terrestrial laser scanning; single-scan; LiDAR metrics terrestrial LiDAR; change detection; understorey; prescribed burns; terrestrial laser scanning; single-scan; LiDAR metrics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gupta, V.; Reinke, K.J.; Jones, S.D.; Wallace, L.; Holden, L. Assessing Metrics for Estimating Fire Induced Change in the Forest Understorey Structure Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 8180-8201. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs70608180

AMA Style

Gupta V, Reinke KJ, Jones SD, Wallace L, Holden L. Assessing Metrics for Estimating Fire Induced Change in the Forest Understorey Structure Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning. Remote Sensing. 2015; 7(6):8180-8201. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs70608180

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gupta, Vaibhav; Reinke, Karin J.; Jones, Simon D.; Wallace, Luke; Holden, Lucas. 2015. "Assessing Metrics for Estimating Fire Induced Change in the Forest Understorey Structure Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning" Remote Sens. 7, no. 6: 8180-8201. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs70608180

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