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Use of waveform lidar and hyperspectral sensors to assess selected spatial and structural patterns associated with recent and repeat disturbance and the abundance of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) in a temperate mixed hardwood and conifer forest

Author(s): Jeanne E. Anderson; Mary E. Martin; Lucie Lepine; Mark J. Ducey; Thomas D. Lee; Andrew Fast; Marie-Louise Smith; Ralph Dubayah; Michelle A. Hofton; Peter Hyde; Birgit Peterson; J. Bryan Blair.

Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 5(1), 053504
Date: 1 January 2011

Paper Abstract
Waveform lidar imagery was acquired on September 26, 1999 over the Bartlett Experimental Forest (BEF) in New Hampshire (USA) using NASA's Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS). This flight occurred 20 months after an ice storm damaged millions of hectares of forestland in northeastern North America. Lidar measurements of the amplitude and intensity of ground energy returns appeared to readily detect areas of moderate to severe ice storm damage associated with the worst damage. Southern through eastern aspects on side slopes were particularly susceptible to higher levels of damage, in large part overlapping tracts of forest that had suffered the highest levels of wind damage from the 1938 hurricane and containing the highest levels of sugar maple basal area and biomass. The levels of sugar maple abundance were determined through analysis of the 1997 Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) high resolution spectral imagery and inventory of USFS Northern Research Station field plots. We found a relationship between field measurements of stem volume losses and the LVIS metric of mean canopy height (r2 = 0.66; root mean square errors = 5.7 m3/ha, p < 0.0001) in areas that had been subjected to moderate-to-severe ice storm damage, accurately documenting the short-term outcome of a single disturbance event.

DOI: 10.1117/1.3554639
Current SPIE Digital Library subscribers click here to download this paper.


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