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The Biomass Plot Library is a collation of stem inventory data across federal, state and local government departments, universities, private companies and other agencies. It was motivated to the need for calibration/validation data to underpin national mapping of above-ground biomass from integration of Landsat time-series, ICESat/GLAS lidar, and ALOS PALSAR bacscatter data under the auspices of the JAXA Kyoto & Carbon (K&C) Initiative (Armston et al., 2016). The data has been translated to a common set of tree, plot and site level observations with explicit plot footprints where available.

Biomass Plot Library metadata

Ground Lidar

Ground lidar, also known as Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), is a ranging instrument that provides detailed 3D measurements directly related to the quantity and distribution of plant materials in the canopy. Measurements can be used for applications requiring quantification of vegetation structure parameters, tree and stand reconstruction, and terrain analysis.


Hemispherical photography has been used in studies of LAI, measuring canopy architecture of boreal forests, and the light environment in old growth temperate rain forests. Hemispherical photography can provide a number of structural measurements that can be used for calibration and validation of LiDAR derived products.

Hemispherical Photography metadata

Hemispherical Photography protocol


The acquisition of sunphotometer measurements are critical to capture vital data on atmospheric properties during airborne hyperspectral imaging campaigns as well as for measurements coinciding with the overpass of satellite sensors. The atmospheric properties measured are used in atmospheric correction of the remotely sensed image data. This data is primarily for input into atmospheric correction systems. The MicroTops instruments referred to here capture solar radiance data in 5 wavelengths which are used to extract information on aerosol optical thickness and water vapour content. These two key parameters of interest are used as inputs for the atmospheric correction of remotely sensed image data.

Sunphotometer metadata

MicroTops Sunphotometer protocol


FPC and Ground cover can be monitored using remote sensing. From a remote sensing perspective, FPC is the woody green cover in the overstorey while ground cover is the fractional cover of the non-woody vegetation and litter near the soil surface. The field measurement protocol described here is used to derive three categories of cover from satellite imagery— photosynthetic vegetation (PV), non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) and bare soil (BS).

SLATS Star Transects metadata

SLATS Star Transects protocol


Field data on tree structural characteristics can be used for the calibration and validation of LiDAR derived products of tree height, canopy height profiles and allometrically derived Diameter Breast Height (DBH).

Tree Structural Characteristics metadata

Tree Structural Characteristics protocol