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    Leaves are the primary interface where energy, water and carbon exchanges occur between the forest ecosystems and the atmosphere. Leaf area index (LAI) is a measure of the amount of leaf area in a stand, and the tree crown size characterizes how leaves are clumped in the canopy. Both LAI and tree crown size are of essential ecological and management value. There is a lot of interest in extracting both canopy structural parameters from remote sensing. The LAI is generally estimated with spectral information from remotely sensed images at relatively coarse spatial resolution. There has been much less success in estimating tree crown size with remote sensing. The recent availability of abundant high spatial resolution imagery from space offers new potential for extracting LAI and tree crown size, particularly in the spatial domain. This study found that the spatial information in Ikonos imagery is highly valuable in estimating both tree crown size and LAI.

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    Song, C.; Dickinson, M.B. 2008. Extracting forest canopy structure from spatial information of high resolution optical imagery: tree crown size versus leaf area index. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 29(19): 5605-5622.

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