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Linking Remote-Sensing Information to Tropical Forest Structure: The Crucial Role of Modelling

April 30, 2012
A researcher is shown climbing into the canopy of a primary forest in Southern Cameroon to measure tree height and crown dimensions. Photo: Courtesy of authors.

A researcher is shown climbing into the canopy of a primary forest in Southern Cameroon to measure tree height and crown dimensions. Photo: Courtesy of authors.

Earthzine, posted on April 24th, 2012

Pierre Couteron, Nicolas Barbier, Christophe Proisy, Raphaël Pélissier, and Grégoire Vincent

“Using remote sensing to provide reliable information over extensive areas of dense and heterogeneous tropical forests is a challenging task. Not only is the task challenging, but it also has become closely related to global concerns about reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, also known as the REDD process. The AMAP laboratory in Montpellier, France, is contributing to this challenge at the interface between signal processing and plant and vegetation modelling which is its central domain of expertise. Models of forest structure are an important tool to fill the scale gap between field observations and remotely sensed information. They help also to understand the complex interactions between signal and forest vegetation. As remotely-sensed data are diversifying, coupling forest structure and radiative transfer models helps to translate signal information into biophysical parameters. Refining such an approach is needed to design replicable methods that address the most challenging aspect of monitoring spatiotemporal variations of stand structure in forest types retaining high aboveground biomass.”

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