Browsing by Subject "point cloud processing"

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  • Luoma, Ville (Finnish Society of Forest Science, 2022)
    Dissertationes Forestales
    Forests are dynamic ecosystems that are constantly changing. The most common natural reasons for change in forests are the growth and death of trees, as well as the damage occurring to them. Tree growth appears as an increment of its structural dimensions, such as stem diameter, height, and crown volume, which all affect the structure of a tree. Repeated measurements of tree characteristics enable observations of the respective increments indicating tree growth. According to current knowledge, the tree growth process follows the priority theory, where trees aim to achieve sufficient lightning conditions for the tree crown through primary growth, whereas increment in diameter results from the secondary growth. Tree growth is known to have an effect on the carbon sequestration potential of trees as well as on the quality of timber. To improve the understanding of the underlying cause–effect relations driving tree growth, methods to quantify structural changes in trees and forests are needed. The use of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) has emerged during the recent decade as an effective tool to determine attributes of individual trees. However, the capacity of TLS point cloud-based methods to measure tree growth remains unexplored. This thesis aimed at developing new methods to measure tree growth in boreal forest conditions by utilizing two-date TLS point clouds. The point clouds were also used to investigate how trees allocate their growth and how the stem form of trees develops, to deepen the understanding of tree growth processes under different conditions and over the life cycle of a tree. The capability of the developed methods was examined during a five- to nine-year monitoring period with two separate datasets consisting of 1315 trees in total. Study I demonstrated the feasibility of TLS point clouds for measuring tree growth in boreal forests. In studies II and III, an automated point cloud-based method was further developed and tested for measuring tree growth. The used method could detect trees from two-date point clouds, with the detected trees representing 84.5% of total basal area. In general, statistically significant changes in the examined attributes, such as diameter at breast height, tree height, stem volume, and logwood volume, were detected during the monitoring periods. Tree growth and stem volume allocation seemed to be more similar for trees growing in similar structural conditions. The findings obtained in this thesis demonstrate the capabilities of repeatedly acquired TLS point clouds to be used for measuring the growth of trees and for characterizing the structural changes in forests. This thesis showed that TLS point cloud-based methods can be used for enhancing the knowledge of how trees allocate their growth, and thus help discover the underlying reasons for processes driving changes in forests, which could generate benefits for ecological or silvicultural applications where information on tree growth and forest structural changes is needed.
  • Luoma, Ville; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Kankare, Ville; Saarinen, Ninni; Pyorala, Jiri; Kukko, Antero; Kaartinen, Harri; Hyyppa, Juha; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2021)
    Tree growth is a multidimensional process that is affected by several factors. There is a continuous demand for improved information on tree growth and the ecological traits controlling it. This study aims at providing new approaches to improve ecological understanding of tree growth by the means of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Changes in tree stem form and stem volume allocation were investigated during a five-year monitoring period. In total, a selection of attributes from 736 trees from 37 sample plots representing different forest structures were extracted from taper curves derived from two-date TLS point clouds. The results of this study showed the capability of point cloud-based methods in detecting changes in the stem form and volume allocation. In addition, the results showed a significant difference between different forest structures in how relative stem volume and logwood volume increased during the monitoring period. Along with contributing to providing more accurate information for monitoring purposes in general, the findings of this study showed the ability and many possibilities of point cloud-based method to characterize changes in living organisms in particular, which further promote the feasibility of using point clouds as an observation method also in ecological studies.