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A Forest Geometric Description of a Maritime Pine Forest Suitable for Discrete Microwave Models

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5 Author(s)
Saleh, K. ; Inst. Nat. de la Recherche Agronomique, Villenave D''Ornon, France ; Porte, A. ; Guyon, D. ; Ferrazzoli, P.
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In the microwave region, discrete physical models are often used to simulate surface emission and backscattering of forests. These models require detailed information on the geometry of the forest constituents, typically represented by canonical shapes. This paper presents a forest geometric description (FGD) of a Maritime pine tree forest (Pinus pinaster AÏt) suitable for discrete models at low microwave frequencies. The FGD contains a number of allometric equations developed from the analysis of a very large set of ground-based measurements of the forest structure. These allometric equations reproduce the density, shape, and dimension of branches, trunks, and needles, represented by cylinders in the FGD. An original approach to describe the tree architecture is presented: primary branches (branches inserted in the trunk) are split into segments or growth units (GUs) so that the full branch curvature can be accounted for, and probability distribution functions are given for the orientation and diameter of the GUs. The FGD uses only two variables, tree density (number of trees per ha) and tree age, as input information to simulate the forest geometric characteristics at three layers: the upper crown, the lower crown, and a crown-free layer. Input parameters to compute the dielectric constant of the forest constituents are also given.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 9 )