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Conference paper, 2010

The potential of airborne laser scanning for monitoring the subalpine birch forest ecotone

Nyström, Mattias; Holmgren, Johan; Olsson, Håkan


Climate changes, insect damages, and browsing pressure by herbivores are causing changes of the sub arctic tree line, as well as in the presence of low shrubs of salix species in the mountain heaths above the tree line. These changes are however difficult to monitor with manual methods because of the complex mosaic pattern of the forest-tundra ecotone. The possibility to map this ecotone with airborne laser scanning (ALS) has therefore been tested at a site 6 km SE Abisko in northern Sweden (Lat N 68° 20’, Long E 19° 1’, 400-800 m a.s.l.). ALS point cloud data above ground and 10 m radius field plots were used to estimate regression models for maximum tree height, above ground tree biomass, and canopy closure, with relative RMSE 9.3%, 25.1% and 23.6%, respectively. Preliminary results show a strong potential of ALS as a future method to monitor changes in the arctic tree-line ecotone.



Published in

Book title: Proceedings Silvilaser 2010
Publisher: ISPRS


SilviLaser 2010