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The terrestrial laser scanning revolution in forest ecology

Danson, FM; Disney, MI; Gaulton, R; Schaaf, C; Strahler, A; (2018) The terrestrial laser scanning revolution in forest ecology. Interface Focus , 8 (2) , Article 20180001. 10.1098/rsfs.2018.0001. Green open access

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New laser scanning technologies are set to revolutionize the way in which we measure and understand changes in ecosystem structure and function. Forest ecosystems present a particular challenge because of their scale, complexity and structural dynamics. Traditional forestry techniques rely on manual measurement of easy-to-measure characteristics such as tree girth and height, along with time-consuming, logistically difficult and error-prone destructive sampling. Much more detailed and accurate three-dimensional measurements of forest structure and composition are key to reducing errors in biomass estimates and carbon dynamics and to better understanding the role of forests in global ecosystem and climate change processes. Terrestrial laser scanners are now starting to be deployed in forest ecology research and, at the same time, new terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) technologies are being developed to enhance and extend the range of measurements that can be made. These new TLS measurements provide a tantalizing glimpse of a completely new way to measure and understand forest structure. It is therefore a good time to take stock, assess the state of the art and identify the immediate challenges for continued development of TLS in forest ecology.

Type: Article
Title: The terrestrial laser scanning revolution in forest ecology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsfs.2018.0001
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2018.0001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Biology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics, terrestrial laser scanning, forest ecology, ecosystem structure
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051222
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