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    Author(s): Nuria Sanchez-Lopez; Luigi Boschetti; Andrew T. Hudak
    Date: 2019
    Source: Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. 93: 38-55.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    Spatially explicit information about stand-level Time Since the last stand-replacing Disturbance (TSD) is fundamental for modelling many forest ecosystem processes, but most of the current satellite remote sensing mapping approaches are based on change detection and time series analysis, and can detect only disturbances that have occurred since the start of the optical satellite data record. The spatial legacy of stand-replacing disturbances can however persist on the landscape for several decades to centuries, in the form of distinct horizontal and vertical stand structure features. We propose a new approach to reconstruct the long-term disturbance history of a forest, estimating TSD through stand-level analysis of LiDAR data, which are highly sensitive to the three-dimensional forest canopy structure. The study area is in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in north-central Idaho, where airborne LiDAR covering about 52,000 ha and ancillary TSD reference data for a period of more than 140 years were available. The root mean square difference (RSMD) between predicted and reference TSD was 17.5 years with a BIAS of 0.8 years; and on 72.8% of the stands the predicted TSD was less than 10 years apart from the reference TSD (78.2% of the stands when considering only disturbances occurred in the last 100 years). The results demonstrate that airborne LiDAR-derived data have enough explanatory power to reconstruct the long-term, stand-replacing disturbance history of temperate forested areas at regional scales.

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    Sanchez-Lopez, Nuria; Boschetti, Luigi; Hudak, Andrew T. 2019. Reconstruction of the disturbance history of a temperate coniferous forest through stand-level analysis of airborne LiDAR data. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. 93: 38-55.


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    stand-level analysis, LiDAR, Time Since the last stand-replacing Disturbance (TSD), modelling, temperate forested areas

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