Quantifying the effects of normalisation of airborne LiDAR intensity on coniferous forest leaf area index estimations

H. You, Tiejun Wang, A.K. Skidmore, Y Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The range between a sensor and the target, the incidence angle, and the target reflectance, are known factors that can influence the intensity values of LiDAR data and consequently, its use in many applications. However, very few studies have provided a quantitative analysis of the effects of normalisation of these three factors on forest leaf area index (LAI) estimations. In this paper, using two coniferous tree species (i.e., Scotch pine and Larch pine) as a case study, the effects of intensity normalisation on coniferous forest LAI estimations have, for the first time, been systematically examined and quantified. It was found that the intensity normalisation had a generally positive effect on the improvement of coniferous forest LAI estimations. However, the improvements were very minor. Specifically, the range normalisation did not improve the accuracy of the LAI estimation for either of the two coniferous tree species. The incidence angle and reflectance normalisation improved the accuracy of the LAI estimation for Scotch pine forests; however, they had no effect on the improvement of the LAI estimation for Larch pine forests. This experimental study suggests that range normalisation is not required for forest LAI estimations in areas with small elevation differences (i.e., less than 114 m). The incidence angle and target reflectance normalisation can marginally improve the accuracy of coniferous forest LAI estimations. However, the extent of this improvement varies among species, depending on the choice of incidence angle and reflectance coefficient. Overall, the effects of normalisation of airborne LiDAR intensity on coniferous forest LAI estimations are closely related to topographic conditions (i.e., elevation and slope), the tree species composition, and its associated structural attributes. Therefore, further research should explore the effects of LiDAR intensity normalisation on forest LAI estimations in regions with large elevation differences and diverse forest structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number163
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalRemote sensing
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • METIS-321767
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE
  • ITC-GOLD

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