Stress in forest ecosystems (FES) occurs as a result of land-use intensification, disturbances, resource limitations or unsustainable management, causing changes in forest health (FH) at various scales from the local to the global scale. Reactions to such stress depend on the phylogeny of forest species or communities and the characteristics of their impacting drivers and processes. There are many approaches to monitor indicators of FH using in-situ forest inventory and experimental studies, but they are generally limited to sample points or small areas, as well as being time- and labour-intensive. Long-term monitoring based on forest inventories provides valuable information about changes and trends of FH. However, abrupt short-term changes cannot sufficiently be assessed through in-situ forest inventories as they usually have repetition periods of multiple years. Furthermore, numerous FH indicators monitored in in-situ surveys are based on expert judgement. Remote sensing (RS) technologies offer means to monitor FH indicators in an effective, repetitive and comparative way. This paper reviews techniques that are currently used for monitoring, including close-range RS, airborne and satellite approaches. The implementation of optical, RADAR and LiDAR RS-techniques to assess spectral traits/spectral trait variations (ST/STV) is described in detail. We found that ST/STV can be used to record indicators of FH based on RS. Therefore, the ST/STV approach provides a framework to develop a standardized monitoring concept for FH indicators using RS techniques that is applicable to future monitoring programs. It is only through linking in-situ and RS approaches that we will be able to improve our understanding of the relationship between stressors, and the associated spectral responses in order to develop robust FH indicators.

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Keywords In-situ, LiDAR, Optical, Plant phenomics facilities, RADAR, Remote sensing (RS) approaches, RS models, Spectral trait variations (STV), Spectral traits (ST), Wireless sensor networks (WSN)
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Journal Remote Sensing
Lausch, A. (Angela), Erasmi, S. (Stefan), King, D, Magdon, P. (Paul), & Heurich, M. (Marco). (2017). Understanding forest health with Remote sensing-Part II-A review of approaches and data models. Remote Sensing (Vol. 9). doi:10.3390/rs9020129