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Temperate Forest Resource Assessment by Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

  1. F. Mark Danson

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a2322

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Danson, F. M. 2006. Temperate Forest Resource Assessment by Remote Sensing. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Telford Institute of Environmental Systems, University of Salford, Manchester, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Remote sensing from airborne and spaceborne platforms provides a means of mapping forest resources at a range of spatial scales. Local-scale mapping using aerial photography is a well established technique for determining stocking density, forest cover and forest health over relatively small areas. Satellite remote sensing can be used to map forest resources over larger areas, including regional to global scales. Techniques have been developed to map forest species and forest cover using spectral and spatial information in remotely sensed images. This work has been extended to map key biophysical and biochemical properties such as leaf area index (LAI) and leaf nitrogen content. These data have been coupled with other information such as meteorological data to drive process-based ecosystem simulation models which may be used to monitor the production of forests and the rates of exchanges of energy and matter with the atmosphere and hydrosphere. Forests play a key role as a source of wood products but they are increasingly also being seen as playing a key role in the global climate system. Remote sensing is the only technique available to monitor forest resources at local, regional and global scales, and to develop an understanding of their role in the global ecosystem.