Measuring leaf angle distribution using terrestrial laser scanning in a European Beech forest

Jing Liu*, Andrew K. Skidmore, Tiejun Wang, Xi Zhu, Joe Premier, Marco Heurich, Burkhard Beudert

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Leaf angle distribution (LAD) is an important canopy structure metric. It controls the flux of radiation, carbon and water, and has therefore been used in many radiative transfer, meteorological and hydrological models. However, LAD is too tedious to measure using conventional manual methods. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) has recently been proposed to estimate LAD due to its ability to record unprecedented detailed plant 3D structure. However, previous research was restricted to a controlled environment with simple canopy structure. In this research, TLS was used in a natural deciduous European beech forest to estimate LAD. Digital hemispherical photograph (DHP) was also used as a reference. The results demonstrated that both TLS and DHP could capture a variation of LAD in beech plots at different succession stages. Compared to DHP, TLS has the advantage of resolving foliar and woody materials, as well as deriving the 3D distribution of leaf angles.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings
    Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
    PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Electronic)9781538671504
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event38th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) - Valencia, Spain
    Duration: 22 Jul 201827 Jul 2018

    Publication series

    NameIEEE International Symposium on Geoscience and Remote Sensing IGARSS
    ISSN (Print)2153-6996


    Conference38th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)


    • Digital hemispherical photograph
    • European beech
    • Forest structure
    • Leaf angle distribution
    • Terrestrial LiDAR

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