Presentations

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Stovall, Atticus E. L. Global Trends in Three-dimensional Tree Structure Talk
Atticus E. L. Stovall1, John Armston2, Kim Calders3 and Lola Fatoyinbo1
(1) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center(2) University of Maryland(3) Ghent University

Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) enables unprecedented measurements of tree structure – capturing details in 3D tree architecture previously impossible to capture. Quantifying the drivers of individual tree architecture in broad (e.g. climatic) and local (e.g. competition) terms will ultimately improve models of forest growth in a range of forest types. The inherently local nature of TLS has limited instrument scalability and inference into large-scale ecological questions.

In recent years, the number of studies using TLS have exploded, covering a wide range of ecosystems and forest types. Leveraging a recently released global TLS metadata database that brings together years of past TLS campaigns and thousands of trees, we analyze variations in tree architecture at a global scale with a suite of site-specific and climatic variables. Our results highlight potential avenues for improving allometric relationships, sensor calibration and validation, and forest gap models.