Vegetation sampling methods using drone sampling: revolutionizing top-of-the-tree studies

Why study the top of trees?

The upper parts of trees are crucial for research in various scientific fields. However, gaining access to these areas has been a major challenge historically. Dangerous techniques such as rope climbing and the use of shotguns, or expensive methods like helicopters, man lifts, and canopy cranes were used to reach these habitats.

The importance of vegetation sampling methods

One reason why studying the top of trees is essential is to account for the intra-variability of samples at different tree heights. Vegetation sampling methods, such as the National Ecological Observatory Network sampling protocol, often require sun-exposed leaves so it can match the data collected by aerial imagery. Calibrating hyperspectral and multispectral models also requires analyzing sunlit leaves, as does matching data with satellite images. Additionally, foliage analysis, such as determining leaf mass per unit area (LMA) and photosynthesis levels, can be achieved by collecting samples from the top of trees.

The challenges of traditional sampling techniques

However, traditional sampling techniques, such as climbing, firearms, line launchers, and pole pruners, are physically hard, inefficient, and limited in reach. These methods also present significant safety concerns, making them a challenge to implement in certain situations.
The introduction of drone sampling has revolutionized the study of treetops ecosystems. One such drone sampling method is the DeLeaves® system, which enables researchers to fly to their target trees and collect multiple samples on a single flight. The large operating range of drones allows researchers to sample a range of trees from a single location, saving time and resources.

The advantages of using our technology with
drones for vegetation sampling

Using GPS coordinates, researchers can ensure they are sampling the correct tree, and the DeLeaves® system’s sample size, up to 1 kg, enables multiple analyses to be performed on a single sample. The ultra-fast sample delivery time ensures that researchers can obtain results quickly, making it ideal for time-sensitive studies such as the measurement of photosynthesis levels.
Vegetation sampling method TreeSampling graphic
Vegetation sampling method photoEnvironmentalScience TreeSampling graphic temporaire scaled
By utilizing drone sampling methods such as DeLeaves®, researchers can access the top of trees with greater ease and efficiency than ever before. This advancement in vegetation sampling methods has opened up a whole new area of research, allowing scientists to better understand the unique and fragile ecosystems that exist in these hard-to-reach areas. As drone technology continues to improve, we can expect even more significant breakthroughs in top-of-the-tree and canopy studies, paving the way for better conservation efforts and environmental protection.
Vegetation sampling method photoWorldMap 2

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