Use of Airborne Laser Scanner Data for Ecological Applications

Forest structure is important for analyses of ecological issues such as abundance of certain plant‐, animal‐ and insect species. Forest structure may be characterized to a high detail by airborne laser scanning. This was the background for the seminar held on the 23. June 2011 at the Department of ecology and natural resource management.

The Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management (INA) has for many years utilized Airborne Laser Scanner data for forest inventory purposes. INA has been one of the leading research institutions in the development of methods for estimation of different biophysical parameters for forest management planning. Mean height, mean diameter, stand volume, biomass, and diameter distributions are examples of such parameters. The derivation of these parameters relies on the close correlation to the three dimensional representation of forest structure from the ALS point cloud. However, forest structure is also important for analyses of ecological issues such as abundance of certain plant‐, animal‐ and insect species. Many of these species have strong preferences related to the vertical and horizontal distribution of the vegetation. By utilizing the three dimensional depiction from the ALS point cloud, it is therefore also possible to do analyses related to such ecological issues. Moreover, Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) derived from ALS can also be utilized for extraction of additional information for forest areas. It has already been shown in a few studies that the DTM derived from ALS is very useful in order to detect cultural remains
under a forest canopy. DTMs could probably also be useful for ecological analyses as slope, aspect and “ruggedness” of the terrain can explain variations in the abundance of many species groups.

Photo: Vegard Lien

Ørjan Totland, INA

Possibilities for utilization of ALS data in mapping and prediction of ecological parameters
Ole Martin Bollandsås, INA

Beyond inventory: lidar data structure and imagery products for ecological applications
Sorin Popescu, Texas A&M University

Detection of swamp forest using ALS
John Wirkola Dirksen, INA

Airborne discrete‐return LiDAR data in the assessment of boreal mire surface patterns, vegetation and habitats
Ilkka Korpela, University of Helsinki

Monitoring of Palsamires using LiDAR, SAR and optical imagery
Hans Tømmervik, NINA

Using DTMs derived from ALS to detect cultural remains
Ole Risbøl, NIKU

LiDAR, nesting habitat of goshawks and bird communities
Katrine Eldegard, INA

LiDAR, habitat structure and the ecology of ungulates in a landscape of fear
Leif Egil Loe, INA