Date of Award

5-31-2017

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Environmental Sciences/Environmental, Earth & Ocean Sciences

First Advisor

Crystal Schaaf

Second Advisor

Ellen Douglas

Third Advisor

Robert Bowen

Abstract

Forests provide vital ecosystem functions and services that maintain the integrity of our natural and human environment. Understanding the structural components of forests (extent, tree density, heights of multi-story canopies, biomass, etc.) provides necessary information to preserve ecosystem services. Increasingly, remote sensing resources have been used to map and monitor forests globally. However, traditional satellite and airborne multi-angle imagery only provide information about the top of the canopy and little about the forest structure and understory. In this research, we investigative the use of rapidly evolving lidar technology, and how the fusion of aerial and terrestrial lidar data can be utilized to better characterize forest stand information. We further apply a novel terrestrial lidar methodology to characterize a Hemlock Woolly Adelgid infestation in Harvard Forest, Massachusetts, and adapt a dynamic terrestrial lidar sampling scheme to identify key structural vegetation profiles of tropical rainforests in La Selva, Costa Rica.

Comments

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