National Arboretum Canberra


Precision measurement of trees and forests

Overview

The research team will compare and contrast a number of different ways of collecting data from forests over time. The technologies used will include

  • terrestrial lasers (Zebedee and DWEL)
  • airborne lasers and
  • digital images.

The data will focus on tree crown architecture types.

The research aims to optimise data collection approaches to improve forest management (especially precision forestry), and to improve knowledge about tree crown architecture and trunk taper and form.

Chief investigator

Cris Brack, Fenner School, Australian National University (ANU).

Other investigators

  • Tim Brown and Justin Borovitz, Research School of Biology, Australian National University.
  • Albert van Dijk and Marta Yebra, Fenner School, Australian National University.
  • Tom Jovanovic and Michael Michael Schaefer, CSIRO.
  • ACT Forests (provision of airborne laser data).
  • Dickson College (proposed UAV component).

Research aims

The primary aims of the project are to compare and contrast data capture using terrestrial lasers (Zebedee and DWEL), airborne lasers, and digital images especially across tree crown architecture types.

Methods

  • Collect data from permanently marked plots set up in forests that cover a range of species and ages.
    • Himalayan Cedars (mature)
    • Camden White Gum (pole stage eucalypt)
    • Birch (deciduous)
    • ANU research forests (juvenile eucalypts).
  • Compare data collected by the various approaches over time.
  • Determine if all data can be integrated and/or collated for maximum information development.

Time frame

  • Airborne laser data collected in 2013.
  • Terrestrial laser data collected in August 2014.
  • Repeat terrestrial laser collections proposed at least 4 times per year to capture different foliage conditions.
  • Airborne laser data collection scheduled for 2015.
  • Proposed to continue until at least crown close of youngest stands.

Outputs

  • Publications in relevant Professional and Technical journals, including but not limited to Australian Forestry, Remote Sensing in the Environment.
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