Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences

Cover image for Vol. 120 Issue 3

Impact Factor: 3.44

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 24/173 (Geosciences Multidisciplinary)

Online ISSN: 2169-8961

Associated Title(s): Journal of Geophysical Research

New global map of forest canopy height


Just how tall are forests around the world? A new global map shows forest canopy height at 1-km spatial resolution. Simard et al. (2011) used satellite data from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System aboard the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) to create a global map of the height of the forest canopy. They validated their map by comparing it with field measurements of canopy height from sites around the globe. The authors compared their map against another recently published map of canopy height and found that it was better correlated with the field data. They also found canopy height differences across forest disturbance gradients. Lidar enables mapping forest vertical structure, a parameter that cannot be easily retrieved from optical systems and provides information on biomass, primary productivity, and biodiversity.

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