iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


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

Matthias Kunz (1)   , Carsten Hess (2), Pasi Raumonen (3), Anne Bienert (4), Jan Hackenberg (5), Hans-Gerd Maas (4), Werner Härdtle (2), Andreas Fichtner (2), Goddert Von Oheimb (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 451-458 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2151-010
Published: Apr 04, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

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.


Mixed Forests, Quantitative Structure Models, Voxel-based, Xylometry

Authors’ address

Matthias Kunz
Goddert Von Oheimb
Institute of General Ecology and Environmental Protection, Technische Universität Dresden, PF 1117, 01735 Tharandt (Germany)
Carsten Hess
Werner Härdtle
Andreas Fichtner
Faculty of Sustainability, Institute of Ecology, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Scharnhorststr. 1, Lüneburg 21335 (Germany)
Pasi Raumonen
Department of Mathematics, Tampere University of Technology, PO Box 553, 33101 Tampere (Finland)
Anne Bienert
Hans-Gerd Maas
Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden (Germany)
Jan Hackenberg
INRA, Centre de Nancy, Biogéochimie des Ecosystèmes Forestiers, Champenoux (France)

Corresponding author



Kunz M, Hess C, Raumonen P, Bienert A, Hackenberg J, Maas H-G, Härdtle W, Fichtner A, Von Oheimb G (2017). Comparison of wood volume estimates of young trees from terrestrial laser scan data. iForest 10: 451-458. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2151-010

Academic Editor

Luca Salvati

Paper history

Received: Jun 27, 2016
Accepted: Feb 16, 2017

First online: Apr 04, 2017
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2017
Publication Time: 1.57 months

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