Carbon storage (in kg) by single trees and woodlands at University of Toronto's Koffler Scientific Reserve. Carbon storage for single trees was extrapolated using average carbon storage per canopy area values derived using i-Tree ECO software based on tree species and diameter at breast height (DBH) of Neighbourwoods© tree monitoring data. Carbon storage for woodlands was generated using average carbon storage per woodland area values derived based on forest successional stage using VSP natural areas field data from southern Ontario.
Modeling Forest Biomass Using LiDAR Remote Sensing on an
Conserving the urban forest and enhancing its diverse ecological and biodiversity functions has become a priority for many municipalities in southern Ontario. Natural areas, characterized by self-sustained natural and/or semi-natural vegetation, are the most cost effective and sustainable component of urban forests. The structure of these natural areas, measured as live tree biomass, determines many of the ecosystem services and ecological functions they provide. The City of Kitchener has established over 500 permanent sampling plots using the Vegetation Sampling Protocol, in collaboration with the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto, to help understand baseline conditions of their natural areas. While biomass estimates can be readily derived and extrapolated from plot data, our objective is to improve estimates across forest patches by utilizing LiDAR. Our goal is to model biomass using a regression-kriging model to establish a relationship between LiDAR metrics and allometrically derived plot level total tree biomass estimates. LiDAR metrics based on canopy height, the coefficient of variation of canopy height, and canopy density were derived using FUSION software developed by the U.S. Forest Service. The results of this analysis will include spatial visualizations of biomass and carbon dynamics at a 20-m resolution across all public and private natural areas in Kitchener. The outcomes of this work will provide a detailed baseline condition of natural area structure and function, supporting diverse applications including, natural heritage planning, forest and biodiversity management, habitat protection, and ecological restoration.