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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Comparison of Small- and Large-Footprint Lidar Characterization of Tropical Forest Aboveground Structure and Biomass: A Case Study From Central Gabon
Author(s): Silva, Carlos Alberto
Saatchi, Sassan S
Garcia, Mariano
Labriere, Nicolas
Klauberg, Carine
Ferraz, Antonio
Meyer, Victoria
Jeffery, Kathryn Jane
Abernethy, Katharine
White, Lee
Zhao, Kaiguang
Lewis, Simon
Hudak, Andrew T
Keywords: Biomass
Laser radar
Remote sensing
Vegetation mapping
Global Ecosystem Dynamic Investigation (GEDI)
and ice sensor (LVIS)
tropical forest
Issue Date: Oct-2018
Citation: Silva CA, Saatchi SS, Garcia M, Labriere N, Klauberg C, Ferraz A, Meyer V, Jeffery KJ, Abernethy K, White L, Zhao K, Lewis S & Hudak AT (2018) Comparison of Small- and Large-Footprint Lidar Characterization of Tropical Forest Aboveground Structure and Biomass: A Case Study From Central Gabon. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 11 (10), pp. 3512-3526.
Abstract: NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamic Investigation (GEDI) mission has been designed to measure forest structure using lidar waveforms to sample the earth's vegetation while in orbit aboard the International Space Station. In this paper, we used airborne large-footprint (LF) lidar measurements to simulate GEDI observations from which we retrieved ground elevation, vegetation height, and aboveground biomass (AGB). GEDI-like product accuracy was then assessed by comparing them to similar products derived from airborne small-footprint (SF) lidar measurements. The study focused on tropical forests and used data collected during the NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) AfriSAR ground and airborne campaigns in the Lope National Park in Central Gabon. The measurements covered a gradient of successional stages of forest development with different height, canopy density, and topography. The comparison of the two sensors shows that LF lidar waveforms and simulated waveforms from SF lidar are equivalent in their ability to estimate ground elevation (RMSE = 0.5 m, bias = 0.29 m) and maximum forest height (RMSE = 2.99 m, bias = 0.24 m) over the study area. The difference in the AGB estimated from both lidar instruments at the 1-ha spatial scale is small over the entire study area (RMSE = 6.34 Mg·ha-1, bias = 11.27 Mg·ha-1) and the bias is attributed to the impact of ground slopes greater than 10–20° on the LF lidar measurements of forest height. Our results support the ability of GEDILF lidar to measure the complex structure of humid tropical forests and provide AGB estimates comparable to SF-derived ones.
DOI Link: 10.1109/JSTARS.2018.2816962
Rights: © 2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

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