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ALS as Tool to Study Preferred Stem Inclination Directions

  • Although gravitropism forces trees to grow vertically, stems have shown to prefer specific orientations. Apart from wind deforming the tree shape, lateral light can result in prevailing inclination directions. In recent years a species dependent interaction between gravitropism and phototropism, resulting in trunks leaning down-slope, has been confirmed, but a terrestrial investigation of such factors is limited to small scale surveys. ALS offers the opportunity to investigate trees remotely. This study shall clarify whether ALS detected tree trunks can be used to identify prevailing trunk inclinations. In particular, the effect of topography, wind, soil properties and scan direction are investigated empirically using linear regression models. 299.000 significantly inclined stems were investigated. Species-specific prevailing trunk orientations could be observed. About 58% of the inclination and 19% of the orientation could be explained by the linear models, while the tree species, tree height, aspect and slope could be identified as significant factors. The models indicate that deciduous trees tend to lean down-slope, while conifers tend to lean leeward. This study has shown that ALS is suitable to investigate the trunk orientation on larger scales. It provides empirical evidence for the effect of phototropism and wind on the trunk orientation.

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Author:Sebastian LamprechtORCiD, Johannes StoffelsORCiD, Thomas Udelhoven
Parent Title (English):Remote Sensing
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2020/11/13
Date of publication:2020/11/13
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2021/09/06
Tag:ALS; LiDAR; phototropism; stem detection; tree inclination
GND Keyword:Fernerkundung; Lidar; Nationalpark Hunsrück-Hochwald; Orientierung; Wald
Issue / no.:12/22
Number of pages:29
Institutes:Fachbereich 6 / Raum- und Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:9 Geschichte und Geografie / 90 Geschichte / 900 Geschichte und Geografie
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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