Felix Morsdorf

Felix Morsdorf
University of Zurich | UZH · Department of Geography

PhD

About

149
Publications
35,362
Reads
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5,154
Citations
Citations since 2016
37 Research Items
3269 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Introduction
Felix Morsdorf currently works at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich. Felix does research in laser scanning and vegetation structure. His most recent publication is 'Close-range laser scanning in forests: Towards physically based semantics across scales'.

Publications

Publications (149)
Article
Full-text available
Plant ecology and biodiversity research have increasingly incorporated trait-based approaches and remote sensing. Compared with traditional field survey (which typically samples individual trees), remote sensing enables quantifying functional traits over large contiguous areas, but assigning trait values to biological units such as species and indi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Forest biodiversity is critical for many ecosystem functions and services at plot scale, but it is uncertain how biodiversity influences ecosystem functioning across environmental gradients and contiguous larger areas. We used remote sensing and process-based terrestrial biosphere modeling to explore functional diversity–productivity relationships...
Preprint
Full-text available
Trait-based approaches, focusing on the functional characteristics of vascular plants in a community, have been increasingly used in plant ecology and biodiversity research. Compared with traditional field survey (which typically samples individual trees), remote sensing enables quantifying functional traits over large contiguous areas, but assigni...
Article
Full-text available
Observing functional diversity continuously in time and space using satellite imagery forms the basis for studying impact, interactions, and feedback of environmental change mechanisms on ecosystems and biodiversity globally. Functional diversity of plant traits links ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. This work presents an approach to map and...
Article
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NASAs Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is collecting space-borne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDIs footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a descript...
Article
is collecting spaceborne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDI's footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a description of the datasets used and the procedure for final...
Article
Full-text available
The demand for Leaf Area Index (LAI) retrieval from spaceborne full-waveform LiDAR increases due to its direct sampling of the three-dimensional forest structure at a near-global scale. However, the nonrandomness (i.e., clumping effect) of canopy composition limits the reliability of LAI derived from two common methods. They either assume a homogen...
Preprint
Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are tightly connected via spatial flows of organisms and resources. Such land-water linkages integrate biodiversity across ecosystems and suggest a spatial association of aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity. However, knowledge about this spatial extent is limited. By combining satellite remote sensing (RS) and en...
Article
Full-text available
1. Trait-based ecology holds the promise to explain how plant communities work, for example, how functional diversity may support community productivity. However, so far it has been difficult to combine field-based approaches assessing traits at the level of plant individuals with limited spatial coverage and approaches using remote sensing (RS) wi...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims Within extending urban areas, trees serve a multitude of functions (e.g. carbon storage, suppression of air pollution, mitigation of the ‘heat island’ effect, oxygen, shade and recreation). Many of these services are positively correlated with tree size and structure. The quantification of above-ground biomass (AGB) is of especi...
Book
Full-text available
the full text can be found at: https://lpvs.gsfc.nasa.gov/PDF/CEOS_WGCV_LPV_Biomass_Protocol_2021_V1.0.pdf
Article
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In recent years, portable laser scanning devices and their applications in the context of forest mensuration have undergone rapid methodological and technological developments. Devices have become smaller, lighter, and more affordable, whereas new data-driven methods and software packages have facilitated the derivation of information from point cl...
Article
Full-text available
Functional diversity (FD) provides a link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, summarizing inter-and intra-specific variation of functional traits. However, quantifying plant traits and FD consistently and cost-effectively across large and heterogeneous forest areas is challenging with traditional field sampling. Airborne light detection...
Article
Full-text available
The three-dimensional (3D) distribution of light within forest ecosystems is a major driver for species competition, coexistence, forest ecosystem functioning, productivity, and diversity. However, accurate knowledge about the 3D distribution of light within the canopy is difficult to obtain. Recent advances in 3D forest reconstruction as well as t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Given the increased pressure on forests and their diversity in the context of global change, new ways of monitoring diversity are needed. Remote sensing has the potential to inform essential biodiversity variables on the global scale, but validation of data and products, particularly in remote areas, is difficult. We show how radiative transfer (RT...
Article
3D-imaging technologies provide measurements of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems’ structure, key for biodiversity studies. However, the practical use of these observations globally faces practical challenges. First, available 3D data are geographically biased, with significant gaps in the tropics. Second, no data source provides, by itself, globa...
Article
The global exchange of gas (CO2, H2O) and energy (sensible and latent heat) between forest ecosystems and the atmosphere is often assessed using remote sensing (RS) products. Although these products are essential in quantifying the spatial variability of forest‐atmosphere exchanges, large uncertainties remain from a measurement bias towards top of...
Article
Knowledge of the spatial distribution of tree species is important for efficiently managing and monitoring forested ecosystems, especially in mixed forests of the temperate zone. In this study, we fused imaging spec-troscopy (IS) data with leaf-on and off small-footprint airborne laser scanning (ALS) data, for tree species identification in a dense...
Article
Full-text available
Imaging spectroscopy (IS), also commonly known as hyperspectral remote sensing, is a powerful remote sensing technique for the monitoring of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. Pixels in optical hyperspectral images consist of continuous reflectance spectra formed by hundreds of narrow spectral channels, allowing an accurate representation of the s...
Article
Imaging spectroscopy is frequently used to assess traits and functioning of vegetated ecosystems. Applied reflectance- and radiance-based approaches critically rely on accurate estimates of surface irradiance. Accurate retrievals of surface irradiance are, however, nontrivial and often error-prone, thus causing inaccurate estimates of vegetation in...
Article
Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) has emerged as a reference for three-dimensional measurements of forest structure as well as forest reconstruction and modeling. Ground-based measurements can be complemented by new light-weight sensors on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or laser scans from canopy cranes or towers. However, it is still largely unkno...
Article
Laser scanning with its unique measurement concept holds the potential to revolutionize the way we assess and quantify three-dimensional vegetation structure. Modern laser systems used at close range, be it on terrestrial, mobile or unmanned aerial platforms, provide dense and accurate three-dimensional data whose information just waits to be harve...
Article
Vegetation is a highly dynamic component of the Earth surface and substantially alters the water cycle. Particularly the process of oxygenic plant photosynthesis determines vegetation connecting the water and carbon cycle and causing various interactions and feedbacks across Earth spheres. While vegetation impacts the water cycle, it reacts to chan...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing functional diversity from space can help predict productivity and stability of forest ecosystems at global scale using biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. We present a new spatially continuous method to map regional patterns of tree functional diversity using combined laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy. The method does...
Article
Full-text available
We use pairs of parallel mounted laser profile scanners to measure main debris-flow variables in two debris-flow channels in central and southern Switzerland. The scanners measure the instantaneous cross-sectional geometry of debris flows at rates of 25–100 Hz, and we apply large-scale particle image velocimetery to estimate velocity. The scanners...
Article
Tree inventories, inter alia, need information on the tree species. Previous studies aimed at distinguishing tree species based on three dimensional tree structure metrics derived from airborne laser scanning (ALS) point clouds or based on features from full-waveform (FW) laser scanning data provided by today's sensors. Classifications based on FW...
Article
Full-text available
Laser scanning of forested areas helps in analyzing and understanding various aspects of forest conditions, including distribution of plants and trees, height distribution of trees, tree density, size and volume of wood, as well as ground surface properties. However, laser scanning of forest areas is also very challenging for many reasons. The best...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid development of portable terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) devices in recent years has led to increased attention to their applicability for forest inventories, especially where direct measurements are very expensive or nearly impossible. However, in terms of precision and reproducibility, there are still some pending questions. In this stu...
Article
Full-text available
Remote sensing data allow large scale observation of forested ecosystems. Forest assessment benefits from information about individual trees. Multibaseline SAR interferometry (InSAR) is able to generate dense point clouds of forest canopies, similar to airborne laser scanning (ALS). This type of point cloud was generated using data from the Ka-band...
Article
Accurate three-dimensional information on canopy structure contributes to better understanding of radiation fluxes within the canopy and the physiological processes associated with them. Small-footprint airborne laser scanning (ALS) data proved valuable for characterising the three-dimensional structure of forest canopies and the retrieval of bioph...
Article
Full-text available
Canopy structure plays an essential role in biophysical activities in forest environments. However, quantitative descriptions of a 3-D canopy structure are extremely difficult because of the complexity and heterogeneity of forest systems. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) provides an opportunity to automatically measure a 3-D canopy structure in large...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Basierend auf einem Datensatz von 873 Einzelbäumen untersuchen wir ob physikalisch-basierte ALS Merkmale einen zur Trennung von Arten geeigneten phänologischen Trend aufweisen. Hierzu berechnen wir die Differenz dieser Merkmale zwischen jeweils zwei belaubten und unbelaubten ALS Datensätzen innerhalb der einzelnen Baumkronen. Reine Höhenmerkmale wi...
Article
Full-text available
Canopy layers form essential structural components, affecting stand productivity and wildlife habitats. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) provides horizontal and vertical information on canopy structure simultaneously. Existing approaches to assess canopy layering often require prior information about stand characteristics or rely on pre-defined height...
Conference Paper
Patterns of functional diversity reflect the inter- and intraspecific variability of plant traits and are linked to other aspects of biodiversity, environmental factors and ecosystem function. To study the patterns at plot and stand level, spatially continuous trait measurements are required. Remote sensing methods based on airborne observations ca...
Article
Full-text available
The RAdiative transfer Model Intercomparison (RAMI) activity focuses on the benchmarking of canopy radiative transfer (RT) models. For the current fourth phase of RAMI, six highly realistic virtual plant environments were constructed on the basis of intensive field data collected from (both deciduous and coniferous) forest stands as well as test si...
Poster
Full-text available
Echo heights above ground for a part of Canton of Aargau, Switzerland.
Article
Full-text available
The RAdiative transfer Model Intercomparison (RAMI) activity focuses on the benchmarking of canopy radiative transfer (RT) models. For the current fourth phase of RAMI, six highly realistic virtual plant environments were constructed on the basis of intensive field data collected from (both deciduous and coniferous) forest stands as well as test si...
Article
Full-text available
Die Struktur des Waldes ist ein bedeutender Indikator, um Aussagen über den Zustand der Wälder und der darin stattfindenden Prozesse zu treffen. Flugzeuggestütztes Laserscanning (ALS) bietet hierbei die Möglichkeit einer räumlich hochaufgelösten Erfassung und Beschreibung sowohl der horizontalen als auch der vertikalen Waldstruktur. Wir stellen ein...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a method to characterize the vertical layering of forests in space and time based on vertical echo distributions from airborne laser scanning. We further demonstrate successful scaling from local to regional areas, including assessment of transferability, robustness and operational use of the method.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Changes in canopy height and plant area index (PAI) in a temperate mixed forest were assessed between 2010 and 2014 using airborne laser scanning. Patterns of canopy height change could be identified and related to forest management and tree growth. PAI changes followed no clear patterns and need further investigation.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We introduce a ray-tracing based approach for mapping occluded areas in airborne laser scanning (ALS) data for a temperate mixed forest in Switzerland. Furthermore, the approach showed promising results towards a three-dimensional retrieval of plant area index (PAI) from ALS data.
Article
A set of 57 novel canopy metrics of potential value for snow modeling were created from airborne LiDAR data. The metrics were meant to estimate size and relative location of gap openings around a point within forested areas, allowing for measures of the spatial arrangement of surrounding canopy elements. These new metrics were correlated with snow...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a method to characterize forest canopy structure in space and time based on vertical echo distributions from airborne laser scanning (ALS). We developed a transferable, grid-based method using ALS data combined with an automatic determination of the best feasible spatial unit for canopy structure characterization. We derive canopy struct...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, the performance of feature selection in tree species classification based on multi source earth observation data was studied. We applied a sequential forward floating feature selection on imaging spectroscopy (IS) and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data, as well as their combination. Qualitative comparison of the fused results shows t...
Article
Forest ecosystems play an important role in the global carbon cycle and it is largely unknown how this role might be altered by transients imposed by global change and deforestation. Remote sensing can provide information on ecosystem state and functioning and, among others, two remote sensing techniques, airborne laser scanning (ALS) and imaging s...
Article
Forest canopy structure and associated solar radiation fluxes greatly influence snow accumulation and melt and have large implications for water availability from forested areas. The ability to efficiently and explicitly infer canopy parameters at high resolution is crucial to improve the success of large scale applications of snow water resources...
Article
Remote sensing offers the potential to study forest ecosystems by providing spatially and temporally distributed information on key biophysical and biochemical variables. The estimation of biochemical constituents of leaves from remotely sensed data is of high interest revealing insight on photosynthetic processes, plant health, plant functional ty...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Accurate mapping of tree species composition within forest ecosystems is an important aspect of management planning and monitoring. Passive optical remote sensing in general and imaging spectroscopy (IS) in particular have played an important role in producing such maps, but are suffering from issues due to vegetation structure. On the other hand,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Physically-based radiative transfer modeling is the key to remote sensing of forest ecosystems. To scale spectral information from the leaf to the sensor level, the canopy architecture of a forest, illumination conditions and the viewing geometry have to be taken into account. Therefore, a new airborne image simulation approach is being developed f...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses upon retrieving forest biophysical parameters by extracting three-dimensional point cloud information from small-footprint full-waveform airborne laser scanner data. This full waveform gives the end user the possibility to gain control over range determination and the subsequent derivation of the point clouds. Furthermore, the...