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Canopy reflectance model inversion using look-up table approaches provides powerful and flexible options for deriving improved forest biophysical structural information (BSI) compared with traditional statistical empirical methods. The BIOPHYS algorithm is an improved, physically-based inversion approach for deriving BSI for independent use and validation and for monitoring, inventory and quantifying forest disturbance as well as input to ecosystem, climate and carbon models. Based on the multiple-forward mode (MFM) inversion approach, BIOPHYS results were summarised from different studies (Minnesota/NASA COVER; Virginia/LEDAPS; Saskatchewan/BOREAS), sensors (airborne MMR; Landsat; MODIS) and models (GeoSail; GOMS). Applications output included forest density, height, crown dimension, branch and green leaf area, canopy cover, disturbance estimates based on multi-temporal chronosequences, and structural change following recovery from forest fires over the last century. Good correspondences with validation field data were obtained. Integrated analyses of multiple solar and view angle imagery further improved retrievals compared with single pass data. Quantifying ecosystem dynamics such as the area and percent of forest disturbance, early regrowth and succession provide essential inputs to process-driven models of carbon flux. BIOPHYS is well suited for large-area, multi-temporal applications involving multiple image sets and mosaics for assessing vegetation disturbance and quantifying biophysical structural dynamics and change. It is also suitable for integration with forest inventory, monitoring, updating, and other programs.