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Thematic Series

3D Remote Sensing for Forests – Progress and Perspective

This is an article collection published in Forest Ecosystems.

Guest Edited by Yong Pang, Qinghua Guo, Huaguo Huang, Lin Cao, John Kershaw, Manuela Hirschmugl and Xinlian Liang

Forests exhibit distinct vertical stratification, geographical variation, biological diversity, and are dynamic systems. To disentangle and understand these complex features, managers and scientists rely on efficient and reliable assessments of forest resources across spatial scales. The rise of three-dimensional (3D) observation technology has changed the application potential of remote sensing of forests. 3D forest observations include those from terrestrial, mobile, UAV, and satellite platforms using both active and passive sensors. Initially, laser scanning (LS), or Lidar, was the main data source. Now, multispectral and panchromatic images from airborne or satellite platforms are comparable with LS in terms of forest attributes estimation over large areas, and are expected to be applied practically in the near future. Meanwhile, the information that can be extracted is still limited and not yet adequately accurate for many research and management needs. Further development is required to improve the accuracy and reliability of the mensuration and the attributes estimated from these new technologies.

This Thematic Series covers a range of topics related to 3D remote sensing in forest environments, from terrestrial to spaceborne platforms, from active to passive sensors, and their applications across diverse forested landscapes. Review papers summarizing past and ongoing progresses and original research papers reflecting recent developments are particularly welcome, including studies about thematic information extraction, new techniques for forest mensuration, new missions, as well as new algorithms and applications.

Published articles in this Collection:

  1. The Norwegian forest resource map (SR16) maps forest attributes by combining national forest inventory (NFI), airborne laser scanning (ALS) and other remotely sensed data. While the ALS data were acquired over...

    Authors: Marius Hauglin, Johannes Rahlf, Johannes Schumacher, Rasmus Astrup and Johannes Breidenbach
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2021 8:65
  2. Black alder (Alnus glutinosa) forests are in severe decline across their area of distribution due to a disease caused by the soil-borne pathogenic Phytophthora alni species complex (class Oomycetes), “alder Phyto...

    Authors: Juan Guerra-Hernández, Ramón A. Díaz-Varela, Juan Gabriel Ávarez-González and Patricia María Rodríguez-González
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2021 8:61
  3. Pine wilt disease (PWD) is a major ecological concern in China that has caused severe damage to millions of Chinese pines (Pinus tabulaeformis). To control the spread of PWD, it is necessary to develop an effecti...

    Authors: Run Yu, Lili Ren and Youqing Luo
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2021 8:44