What’s New:

“The Terrestrial Laser Scanning Revolution in Forest Ecology” — Interface Focus Theme Issue

  • It’s here! Just short of one year later, the theme issue of Interface Focus with papers from the Royal Society Theo Murphy meeting was released on February 16th. With an introduction, two review papers, and nine research papers, the issue presents both overviews and exciting new research in ecological applications of TLS. See the RS’s interview with Mark Danson for an overview and read the Introduction pdf here. Kudos to Mark and colleagues Rachel Gaulton, Mat Disney, and Crystal Schaaf for organizing the meeting and to Mark for coordinating the theme issue.

RCN Harvard Forest Calibration Activity

  • In a two-week field campaign in late August, 2017, participants in the TLS Research Coordination Network gathered at Harvard Forest, in Petersham, Massachusetts, USA, to scan three plots with six instruments to measure canopy and tree structure. Joined by research foresters from Michigan State, University of Maine, and Virginia Tech, five individual trees of each of four species in the plots were destructively sampled for detailed structure measurements of weight and volume of wood and leaves by trunk and branch order. Stay tuned for lots of exciting results! For more information, see talks by Strahler and Radtke in the SilviLaser2017 Proceedings (links below).

New Posts on TLSIIG Member Sites and Blogs

Click on the links at the right to view the news at the sites below:

  • Mat Disney’s Blogspot: Okay, why is Dame Judy Dench featured on Mat’s Blogspot? Turns out, she’s a tree lover and interested in English oaks from ecological and historical viewpoints. Who knew? Mat and his team recently scanned Dame Judy’s favorite oak, an old, open-grown tree in her garden. Visit the blogspot to see the the BBC trailer for a program on Dame Judy’s trees and enjoy the spectacular fly-throughs made from Mat’s data. BBC even shows some cylinders from QSM!

SilviLaser 2017, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, October 10-12, 2017

  • A great time was had by all amidst the fall foliage on the eastern edge of the Appalachians. TLS was well represented with talks by Atticus Stovall, Crystal Schaaf, Peter Boucher, Zhan Li, Mat Disney, Phil Radtke, Kim Calders, Jeff Atkins, Harm Bartholomeus, and Alan Strahler. View the program and abstracts in the SilviLaser2017 Proceedings here:

Quantitative Structure Model (QSM) Papers Online Here

  • Have you been meaning to catch up on your reading about QSM? Look no farther than our new page of QSM papers with links to pdfs!

 New Publications

  • Better allometric equations from TLS and QSM models? You bet! A new paper by Atticus Stovall and Hank Shugart shows that larger samples and better fits using TLS/QSM produced lower-variance aboveground biomass estimates in an American eastern hardwood forest than benchmarkJenkins equations. And when used to calibrate biomass estimates from ALS and SAR, TLS/QSM found more biomass!
  • Can quantitative measures of tree structures, taken from QSM reconstructions, classify trees by species? Well, yes! A YouTube video animation, keyed to a new paper in Remote Sensing of Environment by Markku Akerblom and colleagues at Tampere U. of Technology, shows the features that do it and how well they separate birch, pine, and spruce. Watch and listen in HD and stereo, then read the paper.
  • So you’re planning that sample grid for Riegl scanning in your favorite forest stand, and wondering just how fine it needs to be to get the top-of-canopy point density for really good QSMs. A 10-by-10 m grid will be just dandy, according to Phil Wilkes and friends at UCL and beyond, in a new paper in Remote Sensing of Environment. Have a look for some tips and tricks, too, to make the job easier.
  • Tired of scanning those pesky trees in that deep, dark woods? How about measuring  some grass biomass? According to Sam Cooper and co-authors from South Dakota State and UMass Boston in a new Remote Sensing paper, four scans with a Compact Biomass Lidar on the sides of a 1-m square grass plot will do pretty well — better in fact than the conventional method. You could also take 150 digital photos for structure-from-motion processing for a slightly better result, but why?

TLS Research Coordination Network

  • The TLSRCN web site opened in Fall 2015, to document RCN activities and allow participants to exchange information. Have a look, and if you are interested, see the last paragraph of the Welcome page to apply to join.

Earlier News

Scan Movies and Fly-Throughs