Airborne laser scanning (ALS) has emerged as one of the most promising remote sensing technologies to provide data for research and operational applications in a wide range of disciplines related to management of forest ecosystems. This book provides a comprehensive, state-of-the-art review of the research and application of ALS in a broad range of forest-related disciplines. However, this book is more than just a collection of individual contributions – it consists of a well-composed blend of chapters dealing with fundamental methodological issues and contributions reviewing and illustrating the use of ALS within various domains of application.
The main aim of this book is to provide the scientific and technical background of ALS with a particular focus on applicability in operational forestry. Most of the chapters are devoted to applications in forest inventory and forest ecology such as forest management inventory and assessments of canopy cover, habitats and organism-habitat relationships. Many of the chapters focus on boreal forests simply because methods were initially developed for boreal conditions. However, examples show the most common applications of ALS at various geographical scales; from individual trees, to forest stands, regions and nations. The reviews provide a comprehensive and unique overview of recent research and applications that researchers, students and practitioners of forest remote sensing and forest ecosystem assessment should consider as a useful reference text.