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    Author(s): Matthew F. Winn; Sang-Mook Lee; Phillip A. Araman
    Date: 2013
    Source: In: Miller, Gary W.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Brooks, John R.; Grushecky, Shawn T.; Spong, Ben D.; Rentch, James S., eds. Proceedings, 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2012 March 26-28; Morgantown, WV; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-117. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 35-41.
    Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (754 KB)

    Description

    Canopy coverage is a key variable used to characterize forest structure. In addition, the light transmitted through the canopy is an important ecological indicator of plant and animal habitat and understory climate conditions. A common ground-based method used to document canopy coverage is to take digital photographs from below the canopy. To assist with analyzing below-canopy photographs, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station has developed a computer software tool called ForestCrowns. ForestCrowns calculates canopy transparency (or light transmittance) for digital images taken with standard or fisheye (hemispherical) camera lenses. Specific areas of the photograph can also be targeted to obtain transparency estimates of individual tree crowns. Since images and assessment results can be saved within the program, ForestCrowns can also be used with forest health monitoring programs to detect changes over time in canopy structure due to storm, insect, or disease damage.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Winn, Matthew F.; Lee, Sang-Mook; Araman, Phillip A. 2013. ForestCrowns: a software tool for analyzing ground-based digital photographs of forest canopies. In: Miller, Gary W.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Brooks, John R.; Grushecky, Shawn T.; Spong, Ben D.; Rentch, James S., eds. Proceedings, 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2012 March 26-28; Morgantown, WV; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-117. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 35-41.

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