Assessing Legacy Effects of Wildfires on the Crown Structure of Fire-Tolerant Eucalypt Trees Using Airborne LiDAR Data
Yogendra K Karna, Trent D Penman, Cristina Aponte, Lauren T Bennett
REMOTE SENSING | MDPI | Published : 2019
The fire-tolerant eucalypt forests of south eastern Australia are assumed to fully recover from even the most intense fires; however, surprisingly, very few studies have quantitatively assessed that recovery. The accurate assessment of horizontal and vertical attributes of tree crowns after fire is essential to understand the fire's legacy effects on tree growth and on forest structure. In this study, we quantitatively assessed individual tree crowns 8.5 years after a 2009 wildfire that burnt extensive areas of eucalypt forest in temperate Australia. We used airborne LiDAR data validated with field measurements to estimate multiple metrics that quantified the cover, density, and vertical dis..View full abstract
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of a Melbourne Research Scholarship to Yogendra Karna. This research was supported by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning through the Integrated Forest Ecosystem Research program. We would like to thank Julio Cesar Najera-Umana, Ben Smith and Cordula Gutekunst for their diligent fieldwork. Similarly, we would also like to thank Paul Donald Bentley and Duncan Smith for his support in LiDAR data analysis using R software. Advice on statistical analyses was provided by Cameron Patrick from the Statistical Consulting Centre at The University of Melbourne, and GPS post-correction support was provided by Ultimate Positioning Group. Finally, we would like to thank the anonymous reviewers who helped to greatly improve the manuscript by their constructive comments.