Assessment of Available Rangeland Woody Plant Biomass with a Terrestrial Lidar System Academic Article uri icon


  • Woody plant encroachment directly threatens the grass forage production and reduces the area of cultivated lands. The rate of woody plant encroachment is increasing rapidly on rangelands of the southwestern US. However, woody plants, such as mesquite, are a possible source of bioenergy feedstock found on semi-arid lands. This study developed algorithms for determining woody plant biomass on rangelands at plot-level with a terrestrial lidar system. Two processing methods were investigated for analyzing the lidar point cloud data, namely: (a) percentile height statistics, and (b) a height bin approach. Regression models were developed for variables obtained through each processing technique and were able to explain 81 percent and 77 percent of the variance associated with the aboveground biomass using two processing methods, respectively. The results of this study revealed that terrestrial lidar can be used to accurately and efficiently estimate the aboveground biomass of woody plants in a semi-arid environment at plot level. 2012 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Ku, N., Popescu, S. C., Ansley, R. J., Perotto-Baldivieso, H. L., & Filippi, A. M.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Ku, Nian-Wei||Popescu, Sorin C||Ansley, R James||Perotto-Baldivieso, Humberto L||Filippi, Anthony M

publication date

  • April 2012