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Sensors (Basel). 2014 Oct 28;14(11):20304-19. doi: 10.3390/s141120304.

Terrestrial laser scanning for vegetation sampling.

Author information

1
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195-2100, USA. jeffjr@uw.edu.
2
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195-2100, USA. lmmoskal@uw.edu.
3
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195-2100, USA. jbakker@uw.edu.

Abstract

We developed new vegetation indices utilizing terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to quantify the three-dimensional spatial configuration of plant communities. These indices leverage the novelty of TLS data and rely on the spatially biased arrangement of a TLS point cloud. We calculated these indices from TLS data acquired within an existing long term manipulation of forest structure in Central Oregon, USA, and used these data to test for differences in vegetation structure. Results provided quantitative evidence of a significant difference in vegetation density due to thinning and burning, and a marginally significant difference in vegetation patchiness due to grazing. A comparison to traditional field sampling highlighted the novelty of the TLS based method. By creating a linkage between traditional field sampling and landscape ecology, these indices enable field investigations of fine-scale spatial patterns. Applications include experimental assessment, long-term monitoring, and habitat characterization.

PMID:
25353981
PMCID:
PMC4279484
DOI:
10.3390/s141120304
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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