Ground based LiDAR demonstrates the legacy of management history to canopy structure and composition across a fragmented temperate woodland

McMahon, Sean M., Bebber, Daniel P., Butt, Nathalie, Crockatt, Martha, Kirby, Keith, Parker, Geoffrey G., Riutta, Terhi and Slade, Eleanor M. (2015) Ground based LiDAR demonstrates the legacy of management history to canopy structure and composition across a fragmented temperate woodland. Forest Ecology and Management, 335 255-260. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2014.08.039


Author McMahon, Sean M.
Bebber, Daniel P.
Butt, Nathalie
Crockatt, Martha
Kirby, Keith
Parker, Geoffrey G.
Riutta, Terhi
Slade, Eleanor M.
Title Ground based LiDAR demonstrates the legacy of management history to canopy structure and composition across a fragmented temperate woodland
Journal name Forest Ecology and Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-1127
1872-7042
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.foreco.2014.08.039
Volume 335
Start page 255
End page 260
Total pages 6
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract The structure of forest canopies correlates with stand maturity and biomass, and develops consistently over time. Remote-sensing technologies such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) have become prominent tools for measuring structural characteristics of forests.We walked a portable canopy LiDAR (PCL), an up-facing rangefinder that detects vegetation through the canopy at two kilohertz, along multiple transects at ten different forest stands in the area of Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire, UK. The stands had different species composition, were situated at forest edges and in forest core, were in fragments of different sizes and had different land-use histories. With these data we tested structural differences in vegetation across these stand types.Although none of the stands have been managed in the last 70. years, they have not converged structurally. Vertical canopy structure differed between stands that regrew naturally from open field and those with a history of coppice management. Forest stands that have developed following major fellings or through spread on to former grazing land showed some structural similarities to classic natural succession from large disturbances. Stands that were actively managed as coppice over preceding centuries, showed a similar structural pattern to mature forest, but without the tall overstorey that can develop into old growth communities.This structural divergence indicates two distinct pathways for secondary forests: with implications for the future biomass, stand structure, and species composition. The legacy of management practices can determine canopy structure decades after the forest is removed from active management, but can also be difficult to discern with remote sensing data. We recommend that "ground-truthing" remote sensing data go beyond traditional checks of height and topography, as the history and composition of secondary forests can have an important influence on the pace and compositional structure of recovery from management.
Keyword Canopy structure
Forest fragments
Land-use history
LiDAR
Secondary forest
Wytham Woods
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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