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Automatic Assessment of Individual Stem Shape Parameters in Forest Stands from TLS Point Clouds: Application in Pinus pinaster
Forests, Volume: 13, Issue: 3, Start page: 431
Swansea University Author: Carlos Cabo Gomez
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Tree morphological characteristics, particularly straightness and lean, significantly influence the value of the commercial products that can be obtained. Despite this, they are not usually evaluated in timber field inventories because traditional techniques are labor-intensive and largely subjectiv...
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Tree morphological characteristics, particularly straightness and lean, significantly influence the value of the commercial products that can be obtained. Despite this, they are not usually evaluated in timber field inventories because traditional techniques are labor-intensive and largely subjective, hence the use of these parameters is limited to research and genetic breeding programs. Here, a non-destructive, fully automated methodology is presented that estimates the parameters for describing straightness and lean using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data. It is based on splitting stems into evenly spaced sections and estimating their centers, which are then used to automatically calculate the maximum sagitta, sinuosity, and lean of each tree. The methodology was applied in a breeding trial plot of Pinus pinaster, and the results obtained were compared with field measurements of straightness and lean based on visual classification. The methodology is robust to errors in the estimation of section centers, the basis for calculating shape parameters. Besides, its accuracy compares favorably with traditional field techniques, which often involve problems of misclassification. The new methodology is easy to use, less expensive, and overcomes the drawbacks of traditional field techniques for obtaining straightness and lean measurements. It can be modified to apply to any species and stand typology.
straightness; lean; sinuosity; tree breeding; wood quality
College of Science
This work was funded by the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria
y Alimentaria (INIA) within the framework of the RTA2017-00063-C04-02 (2017) project entitled:
“Evaluation of relevant characters for the sustainable management of Pinus pinaster Ait. and their
interaction under new climatic scenarios”. Carlos Cabo received funding from the UK Natural
Environment Research Council (NE/T001194/1), and from the Spanish Government (Ministerio de
Universidades) and the European Union (NextGenerationEU), within the project MU-21-UP2021-030