Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s10712-019-09519-x
Document Shareable Link
Title (Primary) The relevance of forest structure for biomass and productivity in temperate forests: New perspectives for remote sensing
Author Fischer, R. ORCID logo ; Knapp, N.; Bohn, F.; Shugart, H.H.; Huth, A.
Source Titel Surveys in Geophysics
Year 2019
Department OESA; iDiv
Volume 40
Issue 4
Page From 709
Page To 734
Language englisch
Keywords Forest structure; Biomass; Aboveground wood productivity; Remote sensing; Lidar; Forest model
Abstract Forests provide important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. Forest landscapes are intrinsically heterogeneous—a problem for biomass and productivity assessment using remote sensing. Forest structure constitutes valuable additional information for the improved estimation of these variables. However, survey of forest structure by remote sensing remains a challenge which results mainly from the differences in forest structure metrics derived by using remote sensing compared to classical structural metrics from field data. To understand these differences, remote sensing measurements were linked with an individual-based forest model. Forest structure was analyzed by lidar remote sensing using metrics for the horizontal and vertical structures. To investigate the role of forest structure for biomass and productivity estimations in temperate forests, 25 lidar metrics of 375,000 simulated forest stands were analyzed. For the lidar-based metrics, top-of-canopy height arose as the best predictor for describing horizontal forest structure. The standard deviation of the vertical foliage profile was the best predictor for the vertical heterogeneity of a forest. Forest structure was also an important factor for the determination of forest biomass and aboveground wood productivity. In particular, horizontal structure was essential for forest biomass estimation. Predicting aboveground wood productivity must take into account both horizontal and vertical structures. In a case study based on these findings, forest structure, biomass and aboveground wood productivity are mapped for whole of Germany. The dominant type of forest in Germany is dense but less vertically structured forest stands. The total biomass of all German forests is 2.3 Gt, and the total aboveground woody productivity is 43 Mt/year. Future remote sensing missions will have the capability to provide information on forest structure (e.g., from lidar or radar). This will lead to more accurate assessments of forest biomass and productivity. These estimations can be used to evaluate forest ecosystems related to climate regulation and biodiversity protection.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Fischer, R., Knapp, N., Bohn, F., Shugart, H.H., Huth, A. (2019):
The relevance of forest structure for biomass and productivity in temperate forests: New perspectives for remote sensing
Surv. Geophys. 40 (4), 709 - 734 10.1007/s10712-019-09519-x