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Applying High-Resolution UAV LiDAR and Quantitative Structure Modelling for Estimating Tree Attributes in a Crop-Livestock Forest System

Date: March 31, 2022

This whitepaper delves into the innovative use of high-density LiDAR data and Quantitative Structure Modelling (QSM) to estimate individual tree attributes, traditionally predicted by field-derived allometric models. Leveraging LiDAR data collected by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), we evaluated the accuracy of QSM in determining key tree metrics such as diameter at breast height (dbh), tree height, volume, and aboveground biomass components (stem, branch, and total).

Our study compares two QSM approaches: integrating QSM-derived dbh and height into field-based equations for volume estimation, and deriving tree volume directly from QSM. Despite a slight overestimation tendency, the models demonstrated satisfactory performance, highlighting QSM’s potential to provide detailed and extensive tree attribute estimates.

This method offers a promising alternative for forest management decision-making, especially in analyzing tree architecture and biomass. The findings underscore the value of UAV-LiDAR and QSM in enhancing the precision and scope of forest attribute assessments.

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