University of Tasmania

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Monitoring forest structure to guide adaptive management of forest restoration: a review of remote sensing approaches

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 07:46 authored by Camarretta, N, Peter HarrisonPeter Harrison, Tanya BaileyTanya Bailey, Bradley PottsBradley Potts, Arko LucieerArko Lucieer, Davidson, N, Mark HuntMark Hunt
With the demand for, and scale of, ecological restoration increasing globally, effectiveness monitoring remains a significant challenge. For forest restoration, structural complexity is a recognised indicator of ecosystem biodiversity and in turn a surrogate for restoration effectiveness. Structural complexity captures the diversity in vegetation elements, from tree height to species composition, and the layering of these elements is critical for dependent organisms which rely upon them for their survival. Traditional methods of measuring structural complexity are costly and time-consuming, resulting in a discrepancy between the scales of ‘available’ versus ‘needed’ information. With advancements in both sensors and platforms, there exists an unprecedented opportunity for landscape-level effectiveness monitoring using remote sensing. We here review the key literature on passive (e.g., optical) and active (e.g., LiDAR) sensors and their available platforms (spaceborne to unmanned aerial vehicles) used to capture structural attributes at the tree- and stand-level relevant for effectiveness monitoring. Good cross-validation between remotely sensed and ground truthed data has been shown for many traditional attributes, but remote sensing offers opportunities for assessment of novel or difficult to measure attributes. While there are examples of the application of such technologies in forestry and conservation ecology, there are few reports of remote sensing for monitoring the effectiveness of ecological restoration actions in reversing land degradation. Such monitoring requires baseline data for the restoration site as well as benchmarking the trajectory of remediation against the structural complexity of a reference system.


Australian Research Council

Forest & Wood Products Australia Limited

Forestry Tasmania

Forico Pty Ltd

Greening Australia (TAS) Ltd

JM Roberts Charitable Trust

Sustainable Forest Management Pty Ltd


Publication title

New Forests








School of Natural Sciences


Kluwer Academic Publ

Place of publication

Van Godewijckstraat 30, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 3311 Gz

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Springer Nature B.V.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments; Terrestrial biodiversity; Forestry not elsewhere classified