A tool to determine crown and plot canopy transparency for forest inventory and analysis phase 3 plots using digital photographsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program collects crown foliage transparency estimates for individual trees on Phase 3 (P3) inventory plots. The FIA crown foliage estimate is obtained from a pair of perpendicular side views of the tree. Researchers with the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station have developed a computer program that uses a different approach to estimate transparency utilizing digital photographs. The program can compute individual crown transparency as well as canopy transparency (multiple crowns) from vertical photographs taken below the canopy. The pictures and results can be stored for multiple year evaluations of each plot.