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Comparing Tree Heights among Montane Forest Blocks of Kenya Using LiDAR Data from GLAS

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DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2015.51009    3,412 Downloads   4,307 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This study was designed to use LiDAR data to research tree heights in montane forest blocks of Kenya. It uses a completely randomised block design to asses if differences exist in forest heights: 1) among montane forest blocks, 2) among Agro ecological zones (AEZ) within each forest block and 3) between similar AEZ in different forest blocks. Forest height data from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on the Ice Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICE-SAT) for the period 2003-2009 was used for 2146 circular plots, of 0.2 - 0.25 ha in size. Results indicate that, tree height is largely influenced by Agro ecological conditions and the wetter zones have taller trees in the upper, middle and lower highlands. In the upper highland zones of limited human activity, tree heights did not vary among forest blocks. Variations in height among forest blocks and within forest blocks were exaggerated in regions of active human intervention.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Kinyanjui, M. , Kigomo, N. , Wambui, K. , Kariuki, N. , Charles, N. , Macharia, N. , Odidi, O. , Fredrick, A. , Omamo, O. and Katumbi, N. (2015) Comparing Tree Heights among Montane Forest Blocks of Kenya Using LiDAR Data from GLAS. Open Journal of Forestry, 5, 80-89. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2015.51009.

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