Ecology & Ecological Measurements
The goal of using the computer vision Ecosynth technique is to provide an alternative to intensive field labor and expensive airplane based observations for studying ecology at the scale of individual trees.
This may make it possible for ecologists to more easily collect data about canopy structure and composition at small sampling locations based more on the demands of scientific inquiry than on research budget.
However, to validate the data collected by Ecosynth for studying forest structure and composition, it is still necessary to collect field data about individual trees.
We divide up study sites into small 25m x 25m subplots and record information about tree species, height and diameter at breast height (D.B.H.) using standard forestry procedures and equipment.
Field Equipment & Methods
Tree Diameter (D.B.H)
- Tree diameter is measured using a standard D.B.H. tape at 1.3m above the base of the tree
- Tree diameter is used to relate tree height to tree biomass via allometric equations
Tree Height Measurement
- Height of individual trees is measured using a laser hypsometer
- For our previous work we used a Halgöf Vertex Laser Hypsometer
- We recently purchased a TruPulse 360B hypsometer for use with a mobile-mapping GPS unit for mapping of tree XYZ location and height, this equipment is shown in use at right
Tree Species Identification
- Tree species are identified by reference to local knowledge and field guides through identification of such traits as: leaf type, shape, and margin; bark color and texture; tree form and habitat; and fruit.
- Previously trees were mapped to a relative location within each 25m x 25m subplot
- We are going to begin mapping tree location using a Trimble GeoXT mobile-mapping GPS this season, this equipment is shown in use at right