Improving leaf area index (LAI) estimation by correcting for clumping and woody effects using terrestrial laser scanning

Xi Zhu (Corresponding Author), Andrew K. Skidmore, Tiejun Wang, Jing Liu, Roshanak Darvishzadeh, Yifang Shi, Joe Premier, Marco Heurich

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Abstract

Leaf area index (LAI) has frequently been measured in the field using traditional optical methods such as digital hemispherical photography (DHP). However, in the DHP retrieved LAI, there is always contribution of woody components due to the difficulty in distinguishing woody and foliar materials. In addition, the leaf angle distribution which strongly affects the estimation of LAI is either ignored while using the convergent angle 57.5°, or inversed simultaneously with LAI using multiple directions. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) provides a 3-dimensional view of the forest canopy, which we used in this study to improve LAI estimation by directly retrieving leaf angle distribution, and subsequently correcting foliage clumping and woody effects. The leaf angle distribution was retrieved by estimating the angle between the leaf normal vectors and the zenith vectors. The clumping index was obtained by using the gap size distribution method, while the woody contribution was evaluated based on an improved point classification between woody and foliar materials. Finally, the gap fraction derived from TLS was converted to effective LAI, and thence to LAI. The study was conducted for 31 forest plots including deciduous, coniferous and mixed plots in Bavarian Forest National Park. The classification accuracy was improved by approximately 10% using our method. Results showed that the clumping caused an underestimation of LAI ranging from 1.2% to 48.0%, while woody contribution led to an overestimation from 3.0% to 31.9% compared to the improved LAI. The combined error ranged from −46.2% to 32.6% of the leaf area index (LAI) measurements. The error was largely dependent on forest types. The clumping index of coniferous plots on average was lower than that of deciduous plots, whereas deciduous plots had a higher woody-to-total area ratio. The proposed method provides a more accurate estimate of LAI by eliminating clumping and woody effects, as well as the effect of leaf angle distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-286
Number of pages11
JournalAgricultural and forest meteorology
Volume263
Early online date10 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018

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leaf area index
lasers
laser
leaf angle
photography
effect
optical method
forest canopy
methodology
forest types
foliage
leaves
national parks
national park
distribution

Keywords

  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE
  • UT-Hybrid-D

Cite this

@article{cfce6d6b80704aae84861779cb337172,
title = "Improving leaf area index (LAI) estimation by correcting for clumping and woody effects using terrestrial laser scanning",
abstract = "Leaf area index (LAI) has frequently been measured in the field using traditional optical methods such as digital hemispherical photography (DHP). However, in the DHP retrieved LAI, there is always contribution of woody components due to the difficulty in distinguishing woody and foliar materials. In addition, the leaf angle distribution which strongly affects the estimation of LAI is either ignored while using the convergent angle 57.5°, or inversed simultaneously with LAI using multiple directions. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) provides a 3-dimensional view of the forest canopy, which we used in this study to improve LAI estimation by directly retrieving leaf angle distribution, and subsequently correcting foliage clumping and woody effects. The leaf angle distribution was retrieved by estimating the angle between the leaf normal vectors and the zenith vectors. The clumping index was obtained by using the gap size distribution method, while the woody contribution was evaluated based on an improved point classification between woody and foliar materials. Finally, the gap fraction derived from TLS was converted to effective LAI, and thence to LAI. The study was conducted for 31 forest plots including deciduous, coniferous and mixed plots in Bavarian Forest National Park. The classification accuracy was improved by approximately 10{\%} using our method. Results showed that the clumping caused an underestimation of LAI ranging from 1.2{\%} to 48.0{\%}, while woody contribution led to an overestimation from 3.0{\%} to 31.9{\%} compared to the improved LAI. The combined error ranged from −46.2{\%} to 32.6{\%} of the leaf area index (LAI) measurements. The error was largely dependent on forest types. The clumping index of coniferous plots on average was lower than that of deciduous plots, whereas deciduous plots had a higher woody-to-total area ratio. The proposed method provides a more accurate estimate of LAI by eliminating clumping and woody effects, as well as the effect of leaf angle distribution.",
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author = "Xi Zhu and Skidmore, {Andrew K.} and Tiejun Wang and Jing Liu and Roshanak Darvishzadeh and Yifang Shi and Joe Premier and Marco Heurich",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Improving leaf area index (LAI) estimation by correcting for clumping and woody effects using terrestrial laser scanning

AU - Zhu, Xi

AU - Skidmore, Andrew K.

AU - Wang, Tiejun

AU - Liu, Jing

AU - Darvishzadeh, Roshanak

AU - Shi, Yifang

AU - Premier, Joe

AU - Heurich, Marco

N1 - Springer deal

PY - 2018/12/15

Y1 - 2018/12/15

N2 - Leaf area index (LAI) has frequently been measured in the field using traditional optical methods such as digital hemispherical photography (DHP). However, in the DHP retrieved LAI, there is always contribution of woody components due to the difficulty in distinguishing woody and foliar materials. In addition, the leaf angle distribution which strongly affects the estimation of LAI is either ignored while using the convergent angle 57.5°, or inversed simultaneously with LAI using multiple directions. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) provides a 3-dimensional view of the forest canopy, which we used in this study to improve LAI estimation by directly retrieving leaf angle distribution, and subsequently correcting foliage clumping and woody effects. The leaf angle distribution was retrieved by estimating the angle between the leaf normal vectors and the zenith vectors. The clumping index was obtained by using the gap size distribution method, while the woody contribution was evaluated based on an improved point classification between woody and foliar materials. Finally, the gap fraction derived from TLS was converted to effective LAI, and thence to LAI. The study was conducted for 31 forest plots including deciduous, coniferous and mixed plots in Bavarian Forest National Park. The classification accuracy was improved by approximately 10% using our method. Results showed that the clumping caused an underestimation of LAI ranging from 1.2% to 48.0%, while woody contribution led to an overestimation from 3.0% to 31.9% compared to the improved LAI. The combined error ranged from −46.2% to 32.6% of the leaf area index (LAI) measurements. The error was largely dependent on forest types. The clumping index of coniferous plots on average was lower than that of deciduous plots, whereas deciduous plots had a higher woody-to-total area ratio. The proposed method provides a more accurate estimate of LAI by eliminating clumping and woody effects, as well as the effect of leaf angle distribution.

AB - Leaf area index (LAI) has frequently been measured in the field using traditional optical methods such as digital hemispherical photography (DHP). However, in the DHP retrieved LAI, there is always contribution of woody components due to the difficulty in distinguishing woody and foliar materials. In addition, the leaf angle distribution which strongly affects the estimation of LAI is either ignored while using the convergent angle 57.5°, or inversed simultaneously with LAI using multiple directions. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) provides a 3-dimensional view of the forest canopy, which we used in this study to improve LAI estimation by directly retrieving leaf angle distribution, and subsequently correcting foliage clumping and woody effects. The leaf angle distribution was retrieved by estimating the angle between the leaf normal vectors and the zenith vectors. The clumping index was obtained by using the gap size distribution method, while the woody contribution was evaluated based on an improved point classification between woody and foliar materials. Finally, the gap fraction derived from TLS was converted to effective LAI, and thence to LAI. The study was conducted for 31 forest plots including deciduous, coniferous and mixed plots in Bavarian Forest National Park. The classification accuracy was improved by approximately 10% using our method. Results showed that the clumping caused an underestimation of LAI ranging from 1.2% to 48.0%, while woody contribution led to an overestimation from 3.0% to 31.9% compared to the improved LAI. The combined error ranged from −46.2% to 32.6% of the leaf area index (LAI) measurements. The error was largely dependent on forest types. The clumping index of coniferous plots on average was lower than that of deciduous plots, whereas deciduous plots had a higher woody-to-total area ratio. The proposed method provides a more accurate estimate of LAI by eliminating clumping and woody effects, as well as the effect of leaf angle distribution.

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