Estimating biomass of individual pine trees using airborne lidar Academic Article uri icon


  • Airborne lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) is a proven technology that can be used to accurately assess aboveground forest biomass and bio-energy feedstocks. The overall goal of this study was to develop a method for assessing aboveground biomass and component biomass for individual trees using airborne lidar data in forest settings typical for loblolly pine stands (Pinus taeda L.) in the southeastern United States. More specific objectives included: (1) assessing the accuracy of estimating diameter at breast height (dbh) for individual pine trees using lidar-derived individual tree measurements, such as tree height and crown diameter, and (2) investigating the use of lidar-derived individual tree measurements with linear and nonlinear regression to estimate per tree aboveground biomass. In addition, the study presents a method for estimating the biomass of individual tree components, such as foliage, coarse roots, stem bark, and stem wood, as derived quantities from the aboveground biomass prediction. A lidar software application, TreeVaW, was used to extract forest inventory parameters at individual tree level from a lidar-derived canopy height model. Lidar-measured parameters at individual tree level, such as height and crown diameter, were used with regression models to estimate dbh, aboveground tree biomass, and tree-component biomass. Field measurements were collected for 45 loblolly pine trees over 0.1- and 0.01-acre plots. Linear regression models were able to explain 93% of the variability associated with individual tree biomass, 90% for dbh, and 79-80% for components biomass. 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Biomass and Bioenergy

author list (cited authors)

  • Popescu, S. C.

citation count

  • 331

complete list of authors

  • Popescu, Sorin C

publication date

  • September 2007