Journal of
Horticulture and Forestry

  • Abbreviation: J. Hortic. For.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9782
  • DOI: 10.5897/JHF
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Full Length Research Paper

Improved model for estimation of leaf area index using airborne laser profiling

John N. Kigomo
  • John N. Kigomo
  • Kenya Forestry Research Institute, P. O. Box 20412-00200, Nairobi, Kenya
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Tatsuo Sweda
  • Tatsuo Sweda
  • Faculty of Agriculture, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8566, Japan.
  • Google Scholar
Hayato Tsuzuki
  • Hayato Tsuzuki
  • Faculty of Agriculture, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8566, Japan.
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  •  Accepted: 13 May 2013
  •  Published: 31 May 2013

Abstract

The study was conducted to derive a functional relationship between airborne laser generated forest profile area and ground-based leaf area index (LAI) for extensive estimation. Subsequently, LAI was estimated by applying parameterized derived equations to the laser data covering a 384 ha temperate forest in Ehime, Japan. There is a growing demand for accurate estimates of LAI in larger areas due to its role in monitoring climate change and forest productivity. However, due to complicated nature of terrestrial vegetation and rapid land use changes, accurate and precise estimation of LAI has been a challenge. Although, the functional relationship of laser-generated profile area (S) and forest biomass (W) is well established, the relationship with LAI is still at infancy. In this research, a function relating LAI and S was derived with an improved estimation of LAI, RMSE = 1.32 and Bias = 0.21. Our results showed reasonable agreement between Laser estimated and field derived LAI, r = 0.6 (p = 0.014). This study covered a small area and validation of the findings in larger scale could be recommended.

 

Key words: Airborne laser altimetry (ALA), leaf area index (LAI), forest profile area, climate change, remote sensing.