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Special Issue "Forestry Applications of DART Model"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jean-Philippe Gastellu-Etchegorry

University of Toulouse, Center for the Study of the Biosphere from Space (CESBIO; CNRS, CNES, IRD, Paul Sabatier University), 18 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31401 Toulouse, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: VIS / TIR radiative transfer modeling; optical remote sensing (imaging spectroradiometers, LiDAR) and radiative budget for forests, agriculture and cities.
Guest Editor
Dr. Zbyněk Malenovský

University of Tasmania, Geography and Spatial Sciences
Website | E-Mail
Interests: imaging spectroscopy of vegetation; radiative transfer modelling; plant chlorophyll fluorescence and photosynthesis; unmanned aircraft systems; scaling and product validation
Guest Editor
Dr. Jean-Baptiste Féret

UMR TETIS (IRSTEA, CNRS, CRAD, AgroParisTech), F-34000 Montpellier, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: imaging spectroscopy; high-spatial-resolution optical satellite imagery; radiative transfer modeling; leaf chemistry; tropical ecology; biodiversity
Guest Editor
Dr. Tiangang Yin

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt, MD 20771
Website | E-Mail
Interests: radiative transfer modeling; LiDAR; imaging spectroscopy; multisensor system; UAV; chlorophyll fluorescence; energy balance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Scientific studies and operational monitoring of forest ecosystems increasingly rely on satellite, airborne and in situ proximal remote sensing observations, including innovative technologies of imaging spectroscopy and laser scanning (LiDAR). These non-invasive techniques provide information about spatial and temporal distribution of key forest biochemical and biophysical variables, such as contents of chemical foliage compounds and canopy architecture, which in turn improves our understanding of complex forest ecological and physiological processes. Yet, the inherent structural complexity of forests requires to scale leaf level information up to canopy or even ecosystem and biome level, which complicates interpretation of remote sensing data. Physically-based radiative transfer models are efficient tools to bridge this gap, provided that they meet a number of requirements and offer functionalities assuring acceptable models’ accuracy and performance. One of these requirements is an appropriate three dimensional (3D) geometrical and spatial description of sun, sensor, landscape and atmosphere features, for simulating accurate remote sensing acquisition and 3D radiative budget. The Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer (DART) model fulfills this requirement, which explains its increasing use in forestry applications.

This Special Issue of Forests will overview the state-of-the-art use of DART in forestry research and applications. It will demonstrate the importance of physical 3D radiative transfer models for interpretation of remote sensing data, and will help to identify current gaps and future requirements for these models. Prospective authors are encouraged to document and share details of their work with DART in forest environments.

Dr. Jean-Philippe Gastellu-Etchegorry
Dr. Zbynek Malenovsky
Dr. Jean-Baptiste Feret
Dr. Tiangang Yin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • DART
  • forestry
  • remote sensing
  • radiative transfer modeling
  • forest canopy architecture

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Influence of 3D Spruce Tree Representation on Accuracy of Airborne and Satellite Forest Reflectance Simulated in DART
Forests 2019, 10(3), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030292
Received: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Advances in high-performance computer resources and exploitation of high-density terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data allow for reconstruction of close-to-reality 3D forest scenes for use in canopy radiative transfer models. Consequently, our main objectives were (i) to reconstruct 3D representation of Norway spruce ( [...] Read more.
Advances in high-performance computer resources and exploitation of high-density terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data allow for reconstruction of close-to-reality 3D forest scenes for use in canopy radiative transfer models. Consequently, our main objectives were (i) to reconstruct 3D representation of Norway spruce (Picea abies) trees by deriving distribution of woody and foliage elements from TLS and field structure data and (ii) to use the reconstructed 3D spruce representations for evaluation of the effects of canopy structure on forest reflectance simulated in the Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer (DART) model. Data for this study were combined from two spruce research sites located in the mountainous areas of the Czech Republic. The canopy structure effects on simulated top-of-canopy reflectance were evaluated for four scenarios (10 × 10 m scenes with 10 trees), ranging from geometrically simple to highly detailed architectures. First scenario A used predefined simple tree crown shapes filled with a turbid medium with simplified trunks and branches. Other three scenarios used the reconstructed 3D spruce representations with B detailed needle shoots transformed into turbid medium, C with simplified shoots retained as facets, and D with detailed needle shoots retained as facets D. For the first time, we demonstrated the capability of the DART model to simulate reflectance of complex coniferous forest scenes up to the level of a single needle (scenario D). Simulated bidirectional reflectance factors extracted for each scenario were compared with actual airborne hyperspectral and space-borne Sentinel-2 MSI reflectance data. Scenario A yielded the largest differences from the remote sensing observations, mainly in the visible and NIR regions, whereas scenarios B, C, and D produced similar results revealing a good agreement with the remote sensing data. When judging the computational requirements for reflectance simulations in DART, scenario B can be considered as most operational spruce forest representation, because the transformation of 3D shoots in turbid medium reduces considerably the simulation time and hardware requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forestry Applications of DART Model)

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