Height of mountain vegetation using LiDAR
Canopy height is an excellent indicator of forest productivity, biodiversity and other ecosystem functions. Yet, we know little about how elevation drives canopy height in mountain areas. Here we take advantage of an ambitious airborne LiDAR flight, and to recent's GEDI program of the NASA to assess the relationship between elevation and maximum forest canopy height, and discuss its implications for the monitoring of mountain forests’ responses to climate change. We have observed a strong, negative, piece-wise response of maximum canopy height to increasing elevation, with a welldefined breakpoint that sets the beginning of the relationship between both variables, and holds an intrinsic potential to monitor mountain forests. The similarity in patterns across massifs suggests
a common response that deserves further study.
Researchers: Aitor Ameztegui