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Radtke, Philip Validating TLS-derived Quantitative Structure Models with Direct Measurements of Tree Structure, Volume, and Biomass Talk Downloadable
A. Barker-Plotkin1, P. Boucher2, A. Burt3, K. Calders4, J. Frank5, Z. Li6, D. MacFarlane7, D. Orwig1, I. Paynter8, F. Peri2, Philip Radtke9, P. Raumonen10, C. Schaaf2, A. Stovall8, A. Strahler11 and D. Walker9
(1) Harvard Forest, USA(2) University of Massachusetts Boston, USA(3) University College London, UK(4) Ghent University, Belgium(5) University of Maine, USA(6) Natural Resources Canada(7) Michigan State University, USA(8) NASA/GSFC, USA(9) Virginia Tech, USA(10) Tampere University of Technology, Finland(11) Boston University, USA

Quantitative structural models (QSM) derived from data acquired with terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) show great promise as tools for modeling tree structural attributes, including the volume of stems and branches along with their biomass contents. In August 2017, the NSF RCN "Coordinating the Development of Terrestrial Lidar Scanning for Aboveground Biomass and Ecological Applications" hosted an international calibration activity at Harvard Forest. The goal of this activity was to acquire detailed structural measurements on standing trees using TLS, including stem and branch geometry in 3D, followed by destructive sampling for biomass determination in order to validate lidar-derived QSM results. A number of different TLS instruments and scanning methods were employed. Results allowed for the comparison of not only whole-tree aboveground volume and biomass estimates, but also QSM characterizations of more detailed attributes, such as the volumes of main stems as well as first and second order branch architecture, and foliage. Results from destructive sampling confirmed the high degree of accuracy from TLS-derived QSMs on stems and large branches, with slightly lower accuracy in branches as small as 4 cm in diameter. Results also varied by the TLS platform used to acquire lidar point clouds. Although considerable effort was required to collect detailed destructive measurements, they provide an important means of demonstrating the accuracy of QSM results and move toward a point in time when terrestrial laser scanning may nearly obviate the need for effort-intensive felled-tree studies.