Integrating Airborne LiDAR and Terrestrial Laser Scanner forest parameters for accurate above-ground biomass/carbon estimation in Ayer Hitam tropical forest, Malaysia

Muluken N. Bazezew (Corresponding Author), Yousif A. Hussin, E.H. Kloosterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Parameters of individual trees can be measured from LiDAR data provided that the laser points are dense enough to distinguish tree crowns. Retrieving tree parameters for above-ground biomass (AGB) valuation of the complex biophysical tropical forests using LiDAR technology is a major undertaking, and yet needs vital effort. Integration of Airborne LiDAR Scanner (ALS) and Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) data for estimation of tree AGB at a single-tree level has been investigated in part of the tropical forest of Malaysia. According to the complete tree-crown detection potential of ALS and TLS, the forest canopy was cross-sectioned into upper and lower canopy layers. In a first step, multiresolution segmentation of the ALS canopy height model (CHM) was deployed to delineate upper canopy tree crowns. Results showed a 73% segmentation accuracy and permissible to detect 57% of field-measured trees. Two-way tree height validations were executed, viz. ALS-based upper and TLS-based lower canopy tree heights. The root mean square error (RMSE) for upper canopy trees height was 3.24 m (20.18%), and the bias was –1.20 m (–7.45%). For lower canopy trees height, RMSE of 1.45 m (14.77%) and bias of 0.42 m (4.29%) were obtained. In a second step, diameter at breast height (DBH) of individual tree stems detected from TLS data was measured. The RMSE obtained was 1.30 cm (6.52%), which was as nearly accurate as manually measured-DBH. In a third step, ALS-detected trees were co-registered and linked with the corresponding tree stems detected by TLS for DBH use. Lastly, an empirical regression model was developed for AGB estimated from a field-based method using an independent variable derived from ALS and TLS data. The result suggests that traditional field-methods underestimate AGB or carbon with the bias –0.289 (–3.53%) Mg, according for approximately 11%. Conversely, integrative use of ALS and TLS can enhance the capability of estimating more accurately AGB or carbon stock of the tropical forests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-652
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Early online date8 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018




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