Project

Back to overview

3D modelling of root systems based on laser scanning techniques: A new tool to analyze tree root systems, their development, architecture and influence on tree-ring variations in tree stems

English title 3D modelling of root systems based on laser scanning techniques: A new tool to analyze tree root systems, their development, architecture and influence on tree-ring variations in tree stems
Applicant Gärtner Holger
Number 113450
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.12.2007 - 28.02.2011
Approved amount 167'238.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (6)

root system architecture; laser scanning; 3D-modeling; root growth development; Tree-Rings; Biomass

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Root systems play an important role in investigating tree stability and determining the whole biomass of trees. Furthermore, their detailed development and thus their influence on ring-width variations in tree stems is still unknown.
In recent years, tree-ring research related to climate reconstructions is confronted with multifaceted problems. The characteristics of the reconstructed temperature variations are highly variable. Correlations between tree-ring variations and climate data are mostly in a range of 60-70%, the remainder is unexplained. This so called data noise and the resulting variability will make future research on this topic difficult.
Until now, only little effort has been done to analyze the role of root systems in this regard.Challenges in root-system studies are the detailed 3D data acquisition and modelling of their complex structure. The application of a 3D-Laserscanner to record the structure of coarse root systems is a step towards the solution of this challenge.
At the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL a 3D-Scanner was used in a pilot study to generate a model of an exposed root system of a mature spruce tree. This study proved the possibility to present complex structures of root systems in a 3D scatter plot and the consecutive modelling faster and in higher resolution than before.
But it has not been attempted yet to blend in tree-ring values into such a model. The new comprehensive presentation of complete-tree dimensions (root system and stem) combining 3D scanning and dendrochronology in root and stem will open new fascinating perspectives in the analysis of biomass-distribution, dendroecology and tree-stability research.
As part of the project, two types of high-accuracy laser scanning devices will be used. A phase-based scanner (HDS4500; Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, ETHZ) and a pulsed scanner (HDS3000; Terra Data AG, Einsiedeln). The HDS4500 is designated to be used for scanning the exposed root systems because of its higher resolution in short distance (<10m).The HDS3000 will be applied in the field to acquire the less complex above ground structure of a tree on distances longer than 10m.
In parallel to the advancement of the modelling procedure, a new tool will be developed to blend in tree-ring data to different sections of the model.
The project objectives are the development of a high-resolution model of a coarse root system and integrating tree-ring data to the 3D model of a stem and its root system. In the final stages we aim for the development of a new methodology to present the architecture of a root system and to analyse its inter-annual development in relation to ring-width development in the stem.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Abstract

Root systems play an important role in investigating tree stability and determining the whole biomass of trees. Furthermore, their detailed development and thus their influence on ring-width variations in tree stems is still unknown.
In recent years, tree-ring research related to climate reconstructions is confronted with multifaceted problems. The characteristics of the reconstructed temperature variations are highly variable. Correlations between tree-ring variations and climate data are mostly in a range of 60-70%, the remainder is unexplained. This so called data noise and the resulting variability will make future research on this topic difficult.
Until now, only little effort has been done to analyze the role of root systems in this regard.Challenges in root-system studies are the detailed 3D data acquisition and modelling of their complex structure. The application of a 3D-Laserscanner to record the structure of coarse root systems is a step towards the solution of this challenge.
At the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL a 3D-Scanner was used in a pilot study to generate a model of an exposed root system of a mature spruce tree. This study proved the possibility to present complex structures of root systems in a 3D scatter plot and the consecutive modelling faster and in higher resolution than before.
But it has not been attempted yet to blend in tree-ring values into such a model. The new comprehensive presentation of complete-tree dimensions (root system and stem) combining 3D scanning and dendrochronology in root and stem will open new fascinating perspectives in the analysis of biomass-distribution, dendroecology and tree-stability research.
As part of the project, two types of high-accuracy laser scanning devices will be used. A phase-based scanner (HDS4500; Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, ETHZ) and a pulsed scanner (HDS3000; Terra Data AG, Einsiedeln). The HDS4500 is designated to be used for scanning the exposed root systems because of its higher resolution in short distance (<10m).The HDS3000 will be applied in the field to acquire the less complex above ground structure of a tree on distances longer than 10m.
In parallel to the advancement of the modelling procedure, a new tool will be developed to blend in tree-ring data to different sections of the model.
The project objectives are the development of a high-resolution model of a coarse root system and integrating tree-ring data to the 3D model of a stem and its root system. In the final stages we aim for the development of a new methodology to present the architecture of a root system and to analyse its inter-annual development in relation to ring-width development in the stem.
-