Canadian Forest Service Publications

Introduction. 2017. Hall, R.J.; Fournier, R.A.; Rich, P. Pages 1-13 (Chapter 1) in R.A. Fournier and R.J. Hall, editors. Hemispherical photography for forestry: theory, methods, applications. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.

Year: 2017

Available from: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 38831

Language: English

CFS Availability: Not available through the CFS (click for more information).


This introductory chapter presents the rationale for assembling a book on hemispherical photography (HP) for forest science. The book was designed to provide prospective users with information about theoretical concepts of HP, how to both acquire and analyze hemispherical photo images, and a sampling of real world applications. This chapter provides an historical review of HP and presents HP as a study of two perspectives, the solar regime and canopy structure. A brief summary of each chapter provides the reader with an overview of the contents for each chapter.

Plain Language Summary

Hemispherical photography (HP) is a field-based technique to acquire and assess photographs of plant and tree canopies. HP is of considerable interest to the forest and ecological communities because of its ability to describe the penetration of the sun’s energy into the forest canopy and its effects on vegetation composition and structure. The book chapter includes the rationale for this edited book on HP in forest science and a review of its history. It also presents the understanding that HP is a study of two view points, one on measuring the sun’s energy or solar radiation and its fundamental role in plant growth, and the second on use of HP to measure elements of canopy structure such as leaf area. A brief summary of each book chapter illustrates how HP can be used as a tool to improve ecological knowledge from field to landscape perspectives.

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