Comparison of wood volume estimates of young trees from terrestrial laser scan data

Matthias Kunz, Carsten Hess, Pasi Raumonen, Anne Bienert, Jan Hackenberg, Hans Gerd Maas, Werner Härdtle, Andreas Fichtner, Goddert Von Oheimb

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)
    128 Downloads (Pure)


    Many analyses in ecology and forestry require wood volume estimates of trees. However, non-destructive measurements are not straightforward because trees are differing in their three-dimensional structures and shapes. In this paper we compared three methods (one voxel-based and two cylinder-based methods) for wood volume calculation of trees from point clouds obtained by terrestrial laser scanning. We analysed a total of 24 young trees, composed of four different species ranging between 1.79 m to 7.96 m in height, comparing the derived volume estimates from the point clouds with xylometric reference volumes for each tree. We found that both voxel-and cylinder-based approaches are able to compute wood volumes with an average accuracy above 90% when compared to reference volumes. The best results were achieved with the voxel-based method (r2 = 0.98). Cylinder-model based methods (r2 = 0.90 and 0.92 respectively) did perform slightly less well but offer valuable additional opportunities to analyse structural parameters for each tree. We found that the error of volume estimates from point clouds are strongly species-specific. Therefore, species-specific parameter sets for point-cloud based wood volume estimation methods are required for more robust estimates across a number of tree species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)451-458
    Number of pages8
    JournaliForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Mixed forests
    • Quantitative structure models
    • Voxel-based
    • Xylometry

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Forestry
    • Ecology
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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