A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

An overview of in situ digital canopy photography in forestry

Author(s): Francesco Chianucci
Year Published: 2020

Since the 1960s, canopy photography has been widely used in forestry. Hemispherical photography has been the most widely used technique, but a great drawback of this method is its perceived sensitivity to hemispherical image acquisition and processing. Over the last decade, several alternative photographic approaches using restricted view angle have been proposed. Cover photography acquired via a normal lens was the first of the recently introduced photographic techniques. Use of a restricted view (often fixed) lens has subsequently contributed to the extension of canopy photography to new sensors and platforms, which ultimately have provided answers to some previous challenges regarding within-crown clumping correction, isolated and urban tree measurements, understory assessment, operational leaf inclination angle measurements, and phenological monitoring. This study provides a comprehensive review of the use of canopy photography in forestry and describes the theory and definitions of the variables used to quantify canopy structure. A case study is presented to illustrate and compare the different features and performance of the existing overstory photographic techniques; the results make it possible to suggest sampling strategies for consistent overstory canopy photographic measurements. Emerging operational fields of canopy photography are also described and discussed.

Citation: Chianucci F. 2020. An overview of in situ digital canopy photography in forestry. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 50(3): 227-242. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2019-0055
Topic(s): Mapping
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 20914
Record updated: Apr 7, 2020