Details zur Publikation

Kategorie Textpublikation
Referenztyp Zeitschriften
DOI 10.1007/s10980-017-0550-7
Volltext Shareable Link
Titel (primär) Using airborne LiDAR to assess spatial heterogeneity in forest structure on Mount Kilimanjaro
Autor Getzin, S.; Fischer, R. ORCID logo ; Knapp, N.; Huth, A.
Quelle Landscape Ecology
Erscheinungsjahr 2017
Department OESA
Band/Volume 32
Heft 9
Seite von 1881
Seite bis 1894
Sprache englisch
Keywords Biomass; Carbon; Canopy-height model; LiDAR; Spatial heterogeneity; Tanzania
UFZ Querschnittsthemen RU5;


Field inventory plots which usually have small sizes of around 0.25–1 ha can only represent a sample of the much larger surrounding forest landscape. Based on airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) it has been shown for tropical forests that the bias in the selection of small field plots may hamper the extrapolation of structural forest attributes to larger spatial scales.


We conducted a LiDAR study on tropical montane forest and evaluated the representativeness of chosen inventory plots with respect to key structural attributes.


We used six forest inventory and their surrounding landscape plots on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and analyzed the similarities for mean top-of-canopy height (TCH), aboveground biomass (AGB), gap fraction, and leaf-area index (LAI). We also analyzed the similarity in gap-size frequencies for the landscape plots.


Mean biases between inventory and landscape plots were large reaching as much as 77% for gap fraction, 22% for LAI or 15% for AGB. Despite spatial heterogeneity of the landscape, gap-size frequency distributions were remarkably similar between the landscape plots.


The study indicates that biases in field studies of forest structure may be strong. Even when mean values were similar between inventory and landscape plots, the mostly non-normally distributed probability densities of the forest variable indicated a considerable sampling error of the small field plot to approximate the forest variable in the surrounding landscape. This poses difficulties for the spatial extrapolation of forest structural attributes and for assessing biomass or carbon fluxes at larger regional scales.

dauerhafte UFZ-Verlinkung
Getzin, S., Fischer, R., Knapp, N., Huth, A. (2017):
Using airborne LiDAR to assess spatial heterogeneity in forest structure on Mount Kilimanjaro
Landsc. Ecol. 32 (9), 1881 - 1894 10.1007/s10980-017-0550-7