, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 955–968 | Cite as

Assessing Mangrove Above-Ground Biomass and Structure using Terrestrial Laser Scanning: A Case Study in the Everglades National Park

  • Emanuelle A. Feliciano
  • Shimon Wdowinski
  • Matthew D. Potts
Original Research


Mangroves are among the ecosystems with the highest potential for carbon sequestration and storage. In these ecosystems and others above-ground biomass (AGB) is often used to estimate above-ground carbon content. We used a Leica-ScanStation-C10 Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) to estimate the volume and AGB of 40 mangrove trees distributed in three different mangrove sites located along Shark River Slough (SRS), in the western Everglades National Park. To estimate the volumetric shape of mangroves, we modeled stems as tapered geometrical surfaces called frustums of paraboloids and prop roots (Rhizophora mangle) as toroids and cylinders. AGB was estimated by multiplying the TLS-derived volume by wood specific density. Our TLS method for the SRS sites resulted in AGB estimates in the range of: 3.9 ± 0.4 to 31.3 ± 3.4 kg per tree in the short mangrove (<5 m) site, 27.4 ± 3.0 to 119.1 ± 12.9 kg per tree in the intermediate (<13 m) site and 52.1 ± 6.7 to 1756.5 ± 189.7 kg per tree in the tall (13–23 m) mangrove site. Our quantitative results: (1) enabled us to develop site-specific allometric relationships for tree diameter and AGB and (2) suggested that TLS is a promising alternative to destructive sampling.


Mangrove vegetation LIDAR Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) Stem volume Above-ground biomass, Forest structure, Allometry 



We thank the associate editor and two anonymous reviewers for very constructive comments and suggestions. We also thank the Everglades National Park for enabling us to conduct the study within the protected area of the park. The material on this study was based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. DG1E-0951782 and by NASA Cooperative Agreement No. NNX10AQ13A (WaterSCAPES: Science of Coupled Aquatic Processes in Ecosystems from Space). This material was developed in collaboration with the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under National Science Foundation Grant No. DEB-1237517.

Supplementary material

13157_2014_558_MOESM1_ESM.doc (135 kb)
ESM1 (DOC 135 kb).


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emanuelle A. Feliciano
    • 1
  • Shimon Wdowinski
    • 1
  • Matthew D. Potts
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Marine Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science, Policy and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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