Mitchard ETA, Saatchi SS, White L, Abernethy K, Jeffery KJ, Lewis SL, Collins M, Lefsky MA, Leal ME, Woodhouse IH & Meir P (2012) Mapping tropical forest biomass with radar and spaceborne LiDAR in Lope National Park, Gabon: overcoming problems of high biomass and persistent cloud. Biogeosciences, 9 (1), pp. 179-191. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-179-2012
Spatially-explicit maps of aboveground biomass are essential for calculating the losses and gains in forest carbon at a regional to national level. The production of such maps across wide areas will become increasingly necessary as international efforts to protect primary forests, such as the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) mechanism, come into effect, alongside their use for management and research more generally. However, mapping biomass over high-biomass tropical forest is challenging as (1) direct regressions with optical and radar data saturate, (2) much of the tropics is persistently cloudcovered, reducing the availability of optical data, (3) many regions include steep topography, making the use of radar data complex, (5) while LiDAR data does not suffer from saturation, expensive aircraft-derived data are necessary for complete coverage.
Biogeosciences: Volume 9, Issue 1