Measuring vegetation structure attributes with LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)

Aim: This study aims to evaluate the robustness and efficacy of a ground-based, wearable LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) device to obtain tree structure data.  

Background: Airborne and ground-based LIDAR have been successfully used to accurately measure various forest structure characteristics, such as tree height, diameter at breast height, timber volume, and stem density. However, ground-based LiDAR typically requires repeated scans of an area from several fixed points, as interception of laser beams from objects in close proximity to the scanner can cause undersampling of more distant objects. Ground-based, wearable LiDAR may negate these limitations with its ability to conduct a mobile scan, while requiring little training.

Methods: The wearable, ground-based LiDAR used in this study is the GeoSLAM Zeb-REVO. Data obtained from Zeb-REVO scans will be validated against hand measurements of tree Diameter at Breast Height and tree density, and Leaf Area Index measurements from the CI-110 Plant Canopy Imager. 

Impact: Results are expected to contribute to the development of methodology for the rapid measurement of vegetation structure, which may be used in a wide variety of ecological settings.