Browsing by Subject "Light detection and ranging (LiDAR)"

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  • Vauhkonen, Jari; Ruotsalainen, Roope (2017)
    Key message We present a data-driven technique to visualize forest landscapes and simulate their future development according to alternative management scenarios. Gentle harvesting intensities were preferred for maintaining scenic values in a test of eliciting public's preferences based on the simulated landscapes. Context Visualizations of future forest landscapes according to alternative management scenarios are useful for eliciting stakeholders' preferences on the alternatives. However, conventional computer visualizations require laborious tree-wise measurements or simulators to generate these observations. Aims We describe and evaluate an alternative approach, in which the visualization is based on reconstructing forest canopy from sparse density, leaf-off airborne laser scanning data. Methods Computational geometry was employed to generate filtrations, i.e., ordered sets of simplices belonging to the three-dimensional triangulations of the point data. An appropriate degree of filtering was determined by analyzing the topological persistence of the filtrations. The topology was further utilized to simulate changes to canopy biomass, resembling harvests with varying retention levels. Relative priorities of recreational and scenic values of the harvests were estimated based on pairwise comparisons and analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Results The canopy elements were co-located with the tree stems measured in the field, and the visualizations derived from the entire landscape showed reasonably realistic, despite a low numerical correspondence with plot-level forest attributes. The potential and limitations to improve the proposed parameterization are discussed. Conclusion Although the criteria to evaluate the landscape visualization and simulation models were not conclusive, the results suggest that forest scenes may be feasibly reconstructed based on data already covering broad areas and readily available for practical applications.
  • Mononen, Laura; Auvinen, Ari-Pekka; Packalen, Peter; Virkkala, Raimo; Valbuena, Ruben; Bohlin, Inka; Valkama, Jari; Vihervaara, Petteri (2018)
    Citizens' field observations are increasingly stored in accessible databases, which makes it possible to use them in research. Citizen science (CS) complements the field work that must necessarily be carried out to gain an understanding of any of bird species' ecology. However, CS data holds multiple biases (e.g. presence only data, location error of bird observations, spatial data coverage) that should be paid attention before using the data in scientific research. The use of Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) enables investigating forest bird species' habitat preferences in detail and over large areas. In this study the breeding time habitat preferences of 25 forest bird species were investigated by coupling CS observations together with nine forest structure parameters that were computed using ALS data and field plot measurements. Habitat preferences were derived by comparing surroundings of presence-only observations against the full landscape. Also, in order to account for bird observation location errors, we analysed several buffering alternatives. The results correspond well with the known ecology of the selected forest bird species. The size of a bird species' territory as well as some behavioural traits affecting detectability (song volume, mobility etc.) seemed to determine which bird species' CS data could be analysed with this approach. Especially the habitats of specialised species with small or medium sized territories differed from the whole forest landscape in the light of several forest structure parameters. Further research is needed to tackle issues related to the behaviour of the observers (e.g. birdwatchers' preference for roads) and characteristics of the observed species (e.g. preference for edge habitats), which may be the reasons for few unexpected results. Our study shows that coupling CS data with ALS yield meaningful results that can be presented with distribution figures easy to understand and, more importantly, that can cover areas larger than what is normally possible by means of purpose-designed research projects. However, the use of CS data requires an understanding of the process of data collection by volunteers. Some of the biases in the data call for further thinking in terms of how the data is collected and analysed.