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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2009

  • Title: Accurate retrievals of forest structure and biomass from the Echidna® ground-based, upward-scanning lidar
  • Primary Author: Alan Strahler (Boston University)
  • Additional Authors: Darius Culvenor (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia); David Jupp (CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Australia); Glenn Newnham (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia); Wenge Ni-Meister (CUNY Hunter College); Crystal Schaaf (Boston University); Curtis Woodcock (Boston University); Tian Yao (Boston University); Feng Zhao (Boston University)
  • Abstract:

    A new ground-based lidar technology, Echidna®, provides the ability to inventory the structural properties of forests rapidly and accurately using a hemispherical-scanning, near-infrared laser with full-waveform signal digitizing. Work from New South Wales (Australia), New England, and California’s Sierra Nevada Range shows that the Echidna® Validation Instrument (EVI), the first such lidar so constructed, can accurately retrieve such variables as canopy height, mean tree diameter, tree stem count density, basal area, biomass, leaf area index, and foliage profile from stands ranging from Australian eucalypts to mature Eastern hardwoods to California conifer stands. Moreover, by registering overlapping scans from different viewpoints using tomographic techniques, it is possible to construct a 3-D model of the forest, allowing direct measurement of both above-ground wood and branch volume and leaf scattering volume for estimates of both standing and green biomass. Structural parameters of forest stands are normally retrieved with accuracies of 5-10 percent, as compared to manual measurements. Standing biomass also requires a separate, quick sample of larger stems to determine the proportions of the stand in hardwoods or softwoods. The Echidna® concept and the Echidna® Validation Instrument were designed and developed by Australia’s CSIRO. Echidna® lidar data and structural parameter retrievals for a number of sites will be available at the Oak Ridge DAAC. Table 1 presents the results of our retrievals of forest structural parameters from our New England deployment in 2007.

  • Research Category: Ecological Informatics and Modelling

  • Figures:
  • NE_Final_Results_Table.pdf