Nicholas Coops

Nicholas Coops
University of British Columbia - Vancouver | UBC · Department of Forest Resources Management

PhD

About

682
Publications
362,409
Reads
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29,327
Citations
Citations since 2016
272 Research Items
19294 Citations
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,0002,5003,000
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,0002,5003,000
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,0002,5003,000
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,0002,5003,000
Additional affiliations
January 1992 - April 2004

Publications

Publications (682)
Article
Knowledge of tree species is required to inform management, planning, and monitoring of forests as well as to characterize habitat and ecosystem function. Remotely sensed data and spatial modeling enable mapping of tree species presence and distribution. Following an assessment of tree species identified in the sample-based National Forest Inventor...
Article
The importance placed by policy-makers on cultural ecosystem services (CES) is on the rise worldwide, inducing a growing interest in the development of innovative approaches for their mapping, characterization, and assessment. Previous studies have shown how the analysis of the content of geotagged images shared on social media can be used to shed...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The objective of this report is to produce consistent, spatially explicit climate layers at a fine spatial resolution for the 12 Silva21 key managed forested areas across Canada. Generated layers intend to provide historical trends and future projections for Canadian climate. This report can be used to explore how regional changes in climate are li...
Article
Accurate information about forestry roads is a key aspect of forest management in terms of economy (e.g. accessibility, cost, optimal path) and ecology (e.g. wildfire and wildlife protection). In Canada, and in fact, globally, most provincial, state or territory governments maintain vectorial information on the forestry roads under their jurisdicti...
Article
Full-text available
Airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data are increasingly used to inform sustainable forest management practices. Information about species composition is needed for a range of applications; however, commonly used area-based summaries of LiDAR data are limited to accurately differentiate tree species. The objective of this study was to map...
Article
Complex canopy cover conditions often challenge the accurate measurement of many individual tree attributes that are pivotal to the sustainable management of forest resources. Advances in drone laser scanning (DLS) and mobile laser scanning (MLS) have enabled the acquisition of high-density point clouds with the potential to better resolve detailed...
Article
Full-text available
Nighttime lights (NTL) are the procurement of remotely sensed artificial illumination from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) satellite. NTL provides a unique perspective on anthropogenic activity by characterizing spatial and temporal patterns related to economic trends and human development. In this study, we assess the ability...
Article
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Representing the spatial distribution of trees and competition interactions in growth models improves growth prediction and provides insights into spatially explicit forecasts for precise silvicultural interventions. However, this information is rarely taken into account over large areas because obtaining the spatial distribution of individual tree...
Article
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When combining multi-temporal airborne laser scanning (ALS) data sets, forest height growth assessments can be compromised due to variations in ALS acquisitions. Herein, we demonstrate the importance of assessing and harmonizing the vertical alignment of multi-temporal ALS data sets used for height growth calculations. Using four ALS acquisitions (...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires burn heterogeneously across the landscape and create complex forest structures. Quantifying the structural changes in post-fire forests is critical to evaluating wildfire impacts and providing insights into burn severities. To advance the understanding of burn severities at a fine scale, forest structural attributes at the individual tree...
Presentation
Full-text available
In this presentation to the Landsat Science Team, we share information regarding the motivation for monitoring forests in Canada plus key science and data sets (time series land cover, attributed chance, and forest structure - including biomass, volume, canopy height and cover). We then go on to describe and illustrate some recent science on the ma...
Article
Forest canopies can buffer seedlings from extreme climate conditions. Yet, how disturbed forest canopies influence microclimate is not well understood, despite the important implications of microclimate for seedling establishment and post-disturbance successional trajectories. Better understanding of the relationship between a forest canopy and sub...
Article
Snow cover is a key hydrological variable, critical to understanding water cycles and informing management decisions around resource extraction and recreational activities. Remote sensing open-access data and cloud-based computing platforms are two innovative tools for snow cover estimation. In this paper, we present SnowWarp, a processing framewor...
Article
Full-text available
Progeny test trials in British Columbia are essential in assessing the genetic performance via the prediction of breeding values (BVs) for target phenotypes of parent trees and their offspring. Accurate and timely collection of phenotypic data is critical for estimating BVs with confidence. Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) data have been used to measu...
Preprint
Plant ecologists use functional traits to describe how plants respond to and influence their environment. Reflectance spectroscopy can provide rapid, non-destructive estimates of leaf traits, but it remains unclear whether general trait-spectra models can yield accurate estimates across functional groups and ecosystems. We measured leaf spectra and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Accepted by the Canadian Journal of Forest Research but not published yet. I will update this with the published article when available. Abstract: Accurate growth and yield projection for plantations is critical for evaluating management decisions and anticipating future yields. Development of site index (SI) models is often costly and can be pro...
Article
Forestry inventory update is a critical component of sustainable forest management, requiring both the spatially explicit identification of forest cover change and integration of sampled or modelled components like growth and regeneration. Contemporary inventory data demands are shifting, with an increased focus on accurate attribute estimation via...
Article
Full-text available
Changing climates are altering the structural and functional components of forest ecosystems at an unprecedented rate. Simultaneously, we are seeing a diversification of public expectations on the broader sustainable use of forest resources beyond timber production. As a result, the science and art of silviculture needs to adapt to these changing r...
Article
Understanding changes in salmonid populations and their habitat is a critical issue given changing climate, their importance as a keystone species, and their cultural significance. Terrain features such as slope, gradient, and morphology, as well as forest structure attributes including canopy cover, height, and presence of on ground coarse wood, a...
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas (PA) are an effective means of conserving biodiversity and protecting suites of valuable ecosystem services. Currently, many nations and international governments use proportional area protected as a critical metric for assessing progress towards biodiversity conservation. However, this and other common metrics do not assess the eff...
Article
Full-text available
The success and rate of forest regeneration has consequences for sustainable forest management, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity, among others. Systematically monitoring forest regeneration over large and often remote areas is challenging. Remotely sensed data and associated analytical approaches have demonstrated consistent and transpar...
Article
Forests represent the world's largest terrestrial ecosystem and their monitoring is therefore critical from scientific, ecological, and management perspectives. Present day sustainable forest management practices go beyond forest inventory and increasingly include aspects such as carbon accounting and regeneration assessments. Such monitoring requi...
Article
Full-text available
Associations between leaf chemicals and reflectance values using spectroscopy enables the modelling, and prediction of, individual functional traits. Prediction accuracy is generally high when reflectance values are acquired from a single individual or species, however when the spectroscopy field of view is extended to include multiple species, the...
Article
Full-text available
Identification of invasive plant species must be accurate and timely for management practices to be successful. Currently, Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) is expanding unmonitored across North America’s west coast, threatening established ecological processes and altering biodiversity. Remote detection of leaf functional traits presents opportunit...
Article
Full-text available
Forest disturbance monitoring is critical for understanding forest-related greenhouse gas emissions and for determining the role of forest management in mitigating climate change. Multiple algorithms for the automated mapping of forest disturbance using remotely sensed imagery have been developed and applied; however, variability in natural and ant...
Research
Full-text available
The National Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring System (NTEMS) was developed by the Canadian Forest Service to provide national-scale baseline information on Canada's forested ecosystems. Based largely on data from the Landsat series of satellites, free and open access to analysis ready data, and utilization of high performance computing, NTEMS enabl...
Article
Full-text available
Deriving land cover from remotely sensed data is fundamental to many operational mapping and reporting programs as well as providing core information to support science activities. The ability to generate land cover maps has benefited from free and open access to imagery, as well as increased storage and computational power. The accuracy of the lan...
Article
An increasing number of jurisdictions are integrating airborne laser scanning (ALS) into forest inventory programs to produce spatially explicit and accurate inventories of forest resources. However, wall-to-wall ALS coverage relative to the total area of managed forest remains limited in large forest nations such as Canada, wherein logistics, cost...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring the reproductive characteristics of a species can complement existing conservation strategies by understanding the mechanisms underlying demography. However, methodology to determine important aspects of female reproductive biology is often absent in monitoring programs for large mammals. Protein biomarkers may be a useful tool to detect...
Article
Measurements of vegetation greenness, such as those derived from spectral unmixing of satellite imagery using a greenness–darkness–brightness model, are crucial for improved mapping and analysis of urban greenspaces and their socio-ecological benefits. Differences in vegetation types and structures can, however, influence how spectral wavelengths a...
Article
Full-text available
Key message We assessed even-aged stand vertical distributions of LiDAR returns and found that tree species, age, and crown cover each have a distinct pattern that together explains up to 47% of the variation. Abstract Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) provides information on the vertical structure of forest stands enabling detailed and extensiv...
Article
Optical images of the Earth at very high spatial resolutions (VHR, typically < 5 m) are seeing rapid growth in volumes over the past 5 years, due in part to the fast-expanding constellations of CubeSats. Special preprocessing of these VHR images is required to ensure their geometric and radiometric consistency for quantitative analyses for a wide r...
Article
Full-text available
The accurate prediction and mitigation of wildfire behaviour relies on accurate estimations of forest canopy fuels. New techniques to collect LiDAR point clouds from remotely piloted aerial systems (RPAS) allow for the prediction of forest fuels at extremely fine scales. This study uses a new method to examine the ability of such point clouds to ch...
Article
Research has demonstrated the utility of digital aerial photogrammetry (DAP) for area-based predictions of forest inventory attributes. To date, studies have used DAP data acquired with a range of spatial resolutions and image overlaps. The systematic benchmarking of DAP acquisition parameters remains an outstanding research and operational gap for...
Preprint
Reliable estimates of canopy light transmission are critical to understanding the structure and function of vegetation communities but are difficult and costly to attain by traditional field inventory methods. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) data uniquely provide multi-angular vertically resolved representation of canopy geometry across large geograp...
Article
Single-photon lidar (SPL100) is a recently commercialized airborne lidar system facilitating efficient wide-area acquisitions of high-density point clouds due to its capacity for higher altitude acquisitions compared to traditional linear-mode lidar (LML) systems. Increased acquisition efficiency and point densities make SPL100 attractive for fores...
Article
Active forest management for timber production, through the harvesting of forest stands using cut blocks, frequently overlaps grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) habitat on multi-use landscapes in North America, making it critical to understand how forest harvest management can effectively support grizzly bear conservation efforts. While many localised stu...
Presentation
Full-text available
Combining infrequent and/or spatially limited lidar based measures of forest structural attributes with frequent and spatially exhaustive optical satellite imagery offers synergies for the mapping of forest attributes over large areas. Airborne lidar data has been demonstrated as a viable source of information relating forest structural attributes...
Article
Full-text available
The monitoring of forested ecosystems relies on an accurate description of forest structure. The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), launched in September 2018, carries the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) instrument capable of detecting individual photons reflected back fr...
Article
Accurate growth and yield projection for plantations is critical for evaluating management decisions and anticipating future yields. Development of site index (SI) models is often costly and can be problematic when new, short-rotation species are introduced, for example, hybrid poplar plantations, which are increasingly common due to their very fas...
Article
Full-text available
Bird species richness is highly dependent on the amount of energy available in an ecosystem, with more available energy supporting higher species richness. A good indicator for available energy is Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), which can be estimated from satellite data. Our question was how temporal dynamics in GPP affect bird species richness....
Article
Coarse woody debris (CWD) is a meaningful contributor to forest carbon cycles, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity and can influence wildfire behavior. Using airborne laser scanning (ALS), we map CWD across a range of natural forest stand types in north-central British Columbia, Canada, providing forest managers with spatially detailed information o...
Article
Full-text available
Airborne laser scanning (ALS) has emerged as a technology capable of generating descriptors of vegetation structure and best available terrain information. Research and operational implementations of ALS data have highlighted their value for characterizing forest structure and generating spatially explicit and objective spatial coverages and mappin...
Article
Full-text available
Light detection and ranging (lidar) data acquired from airborne or spaceborne platforms have revolutionized measurement and mapping of forest attributes. Airborne data are often either acquired using multiple overlapped flight lines to provide complete coverage of an area of interest, or using transects to sample a given population. Spaceborne lida...
Article
Full-text available
Transformations of agriculture and natural lands to urban use are dominant and well known effects of urbanization, but consistent and reliable methods to map regional-scale land transitions are limited. Herein, we develop a land use classification approach to assess spatiotemporal patterns of urban expansion and associated land use changes. We util...
Article
Full-text available
Characterizing roads is important for conservation since the relationship between road use and ecological impact can vary across species. However, road use is challenging to monitor due to limited data and high spatial-temporal variability, especially for unpaved roads, which often coincide with critical habitats. In this study, we developed and ev...
Article
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Environmental change has been shown to influence mammalian distribution, habitat use, and behavior; however, few studies have investigated the impact on physiological function. This study aimed to determine the influence of landscape condition on the expression of target proteins related to energetics, reproduction, and stress in grizzly bears. We...
Article
Full-text available
Photosynthetic light use efficiency (LUE) determines the ability of a plant to assimilate atmospheric carbon dioxide to biomass and is known to be controlled by environmental conditions, light regimes and forest age. The photochemical reflectance index (PRI), derived from leaf or canopy remotely sensed spectra, has been shown to be an effective and...
Article
Full-text available
The recent development of small form-factor (<6 kg), full range (400–2500 nm) pushbroom hyperspectral imaging systems (HSI) for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) poses a new range of opportunities for passive remote sensing applications. The flexible deployment of these UAV-HSI systems have the potential to expand the data acquisition window to accept...
Article
Full-text available
Measures of vegetation structure are often key within ecological restoration monitoring programs because a change in structure is rapidly identifiable, measurements are straightforward, and structure is often a good surrogate for species composition. This paper investigates the use of drone-based digital aerial photogrammetry (DAP) for the characte...
Article
Monitoring global biodiversity from space through remotely sensing geospatial patterns has high potential to add to our knowledge acquired by field observation. Although a framework of essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) is emerging for monitoring biodiversity, its poor alignment with remote sensing products hinders interpolation between field...
Article
Full-text available
Quality information on forest resources is fundamental for sustainable forest management. Manual aerial photointerpretation is used as a cost-effective source of data for forest inventories; however, the process of photointerpretation is inherently subjective and is often undertaken by multiple photointerpreters for a given forest management area....
Article
Planning and managing urban forests for livable cities remains a challenge worldwide owing to sparse information on the spatial distribution, structure and composition of urban trees and forests. National and municipal sources of tree inventory remain limited due to a lack of detailed, consistent and frequent inventory assessments. Despite advancem...
Article
Full-text available
Le secteur forestier canadien a besoin d’information détaillée au sujet de la quantité et des caractéristiques des ressources forestières. Pour répondre à de tels besoins, des systèmes d’inventaire exacts, complets et opportuns qui quantifient spatialement le bois d’œuvre et les autres services écosystémiques liés aux forêts sont nécessaires. Le pr...
Article
Full-text available
The Canadian forest sector requires detailed information regarding the amount and characteristics of the forest resource. To address these needs, inventory systems that spatially quantify timber and other forest related ecosystem services are required, that are accurate, comprehensive and timely. The Assessment of Wood properties using Remote Sensi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Tree species have different shapes and forest stand dynamics. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) can measure the three dimensional position of reflective material by sending laser pulses through the canopy. We examined the influence of three forest stand attributes: species, crown closure, and age on the vertical distribution of aerial LiDAR retur...
Article
Assessing changes in forest structure over time is crucial for monitoring forest resources, supporting sustainable forest management practices, and providing key insights into changes in the terrestrial carbon cycle. Recent research interest and rapid growth of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based digital aerial photogrammetry (DAP) technology princ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review The increasing availability of three-dimensional point clouds, including both airborne laser scanning and digital aerial photogrammetry, allow for the derivation of forest inventory information with a high level of attribute accuracy and spatial detail. When available at two points in time, point cloud datasets offer a rich source...
Article
Full-text available
The uptake of technologies such as airborne laser scanning (ALS) and more recently digital aerial photogrammetry (DAP) enable the characterization of 3-dimensional (3D) forest structure. These forest structural attributes are widely applied in the development of modern enhanced forest inventories. As an alternative to extensive ALS or DAP based for...
Article
Full-text available
Tree improvement programs are critical to establishing high yield seed sources while maintaining genetic diversity and developing sustainable plantation forests. Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) is commonly used in improvement programs due to its superior strength and stiffness properties. Progeny testing trials in British Columbi...
Article
Understanding biodiversity pressures associated with recreation and tourism is a major challenge for conservation planning and landscape management. While estimates of landscape use are often collected using mechanisms such as park entry fees and traffic density estimates, these data do not provide substantial detail about the spatial location or i...
Article
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and deep learning are important tools at the forefront of automated forest monitoring research, where classification of individual tree species is a critical forest management goal. Near-infrared (NIR) information provided by specialized UAV sensors may improve classification accuracy at the cost of added operational...
Article
The advent of lidar has revolutionized the way we observe and measure vegetation structure from the ground and from above and represents a major advance toward the quantification of 3D ecological observations. Developments in lidar hardware systems and data processing algorithms have greatly improved the accessibility and ease of use of lidar obser...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and high spatial resolution imagery from associated sensors necessitates the continued advancement of efficient means of image processing to ensure these tools are utilized effectively. This is exemplified in the field of forest management, where the extraction of individual tree crown informatio...