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Characterising native forest structure from coincident terrestrial & airborne LiDAR

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Published Date

February 2023

This project was a collaborative, 12-month scoping study was developed in response to the increasing demands for managers to monitor and report on the sustainable management of native forests. A key mechanism for meeting these responsibilities is through quantitative and affordable monitoring of forest condition, including composition and structure.

However, the large areas of native forest in Australia necessitate implementing hierarchical multi-source sampling designs, which link tree- and plot-level measurements to airborne and satellite acquired data. The fusion of Airborne Lidar Scanning (ALS) data with Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) data could help meet these needs. This study aimed to evaluate the capacity of MLS data, acquired using a Hovermap (Emesent) unit, to provide quantified 3D structural information at the tree- and plot-level in six mixed-forest plots located in north-eastern NSW.

A comparison was made between traditional manual tree and plot assessments and metrics derived from the Hovermap point cloud data. In addition, the acquisition of coincident ALS data enabled a comparison of vertical profiles and metrics with the MLS data.

Project number: PNC546-2021


Christine Stone and Sam Hislop, Forest Science, NSW Department of Primary Industries - Forestry

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