Comparison of forest attributes derived from two terrestrial lidar systems

Mark J. Ducey, Rasmus Astrup, Stefan Seifert, Hans Pretzsch, Bruce C. Larson, K. David Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Terrestrial lidar (TLS) is an emerging technology for deriving forest attributes, including conventional inventory and canopy characterizations. However, little is known about the influence of scanner specifications on derived forest parameters. We compared two TLS systems at two sites in British Columbia. Common scanning benchmarks and identical algorithms were used to obtain estimates of tree diameter, position, and canopy characteristics. Visualization of range images and point clouds showed clear differences, even though both scanners were relatively high-resolution instruments. These translated into quantifiable differences in impulse penetration, characterization of stems and crowns far from the scan location, and gap fraction. Differences between scanners in estimates of effective plant area index were greater than differences between sites. Both scanners provided a detailed digital model of forest structure, and gross structural characterizations (including crown dimensions and position) were relatively robust; but comparison of canopy density metrics may require consideration of scanner attributes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-257
Number of pages13
JournalPhotogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


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