Articles Lidar Remote Sensing for Ecosystem Studies MICHAEL A. LEFSKY, WARREN B. COHEN, GEOFFREY G. PARKER, AND DAVID J. HARDING emote sensing has facilitated extraordinary LIDAR, AN EMERGING REMOTE SENSING Radvances in the modeling, mapping, and understanding of ecosystems. Typical applications of remote sensing involve TECHNOLOGY THAT DIRECTLY MEASURES either images from passive optical systems, such as aerial photography and Landsat Thematic Mapper (Goward and THE THREE-DIMENSIONAL DISTRIBUTION Williams 1997), or to a lesser degree, active radar sensors such as RADARSAT (Waring et al. 1995). These types of sen- OF PLANT CANOPIES, CAN ACCURATELY sors have proven to be satisfactory for many ecological ap- ESTIMATE VEGETATION STRUCTURAL plications, such as mapping land cover into broad classes and, in some biomes, estimating aboveground biomass and ATTRIBUTES AND SHOULD BE OF leaf area index (LAI). Moreover, they enable researchers to an- alyze the spatial pattern of these images. PARTICULAR INTEREST TO FOREST, LAND- However, conventional sensors have significant limitations for ecological applications. The sensitivity and accuracy of SCAPE, AND GLOBAL ECOLOGISTS these devices have repeatedly been shown to fall with in- creasing aboveground biomass and leaf area index (Waring et al. 1995, Carlson and Ripley 1997, Turner et al. 1999). They
BioScience – Oxford University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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