skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Measuring Tree Properties and Responses Using Low-Cost Accelerometers

Abstract

Trees play a crucial role in the water, carbon and nitrogen cycle on local, regional and global scales. Understanding the exchange of momentum, heat, water, and CO 2 between trees and the atmosphere is important to assess the impact of drought, deforestation and climate change. Unfortunately, ground measurements of tree properties such as mass and canopy interception of precipitation are often expensive or difficult due to challenging environments. This paper aims to demonstrate the concept of using robust and affordable accelerometers to measure tree properties and responses. Tree sway is dependent on mass, canopy structure, drag coefficient, and wind forcing. By measuring tree acceleration, we can relate the tree motion to external forcing (e.g., wind, precipitation and related canopy interception) and tree physical properties (e.g., mass, elasticity). Using five months of acceleration data of 19 trees in the Brazilian Amazon, we show that the frequency spectrum of tree sway is related to mass, canopy interception of precipitation, and canopy–atmosphere turbulent exchange.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [1]
  1. Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
  2. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
  3. Univ. of Campinas (UNICAMP), Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  4. Oregon Research Electronics, Tangent, OR (United States)
  5. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1426864
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0011094
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Sensors
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1424-8220
Publisher:
MDPI AG
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

van Emmerik, Tim, Steele-Dunne, Susan, Hut, Rolf, Gentine, Pierre, Guerin, Marceau, Oliveira, Rafael, Wagner, Jim, Selker, John, and van de Giesen, Nick. Measuring Tree Properties and Responses Using Low-Cost Accelerometers. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3390/s17051098.
van Emmerik, Tim, Steele-Dunne, Susan, Hut, Rolf, Gentine, Pierre, Guerin, Marceau, Oliveira, Rafael, Wagner, Jim, Selker, John, & van de Giesen, Nick. Measuring Tree Properties and Responses Using Low-Cost Accelerometers. United States. doi:10.3390/s17051098.
van Emmerik, Tim, Steele-Dunne, Susan, Hut, Rolf, Gentine, Pierre, Guerin, Marceau, Oliveira, Rafael, Wagner, Jim, Selker, John, and van de Giesen, Nick. Thu . "Measuring Tree Properties and Responses Using Low-Cost Accelerometers". United States. doi:10.3390/s17051098. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1426864.
@article{osti_1426864,
title = {Measuring Tree Properties and Responses Using Low-Cost Accelerometers},
author = {van Emmerik, Tim and Steele-Dunne, Susan and Hut, Rolf and Gentine, Pierre and Guerin, Marceau and Oliveira, Rafael and Wagner, Jim and Selker, John and van de Giesen, Nick},
abstractNote = {Trees play a crucial role in the water, carbon and nitrogen cycle on local, regional and global scales. Understanding the exchange of momentum, heat, water, and CO 2 between trees and the atmosphere is important to assess the impact of drought, deforestation and climate change. Unfortunately, ground measurements of tree properties such as mass and canopy interception of precipitation are often expensive or difficult due to challenging environments. This paper aims to demonstrate the concept of using robust and affordable accelerometers to measure tree properties and responses. Tree sway is dependent on mass, canopy structure, drag coefficient, and wind forcing. By measuring tree acceleration, we can relate the tree motion to external forcing (e.g., wind, precipitation and related canopy interception) and tree physical properties (e.g., mass, elasticity). Using five months of acceleration data of 19 trees in the Brazilian Amazon, we show that the frequency spectrum of tree sway is related to mass, canopy interception of precipitation, and canopy–atmosphere turbulent exchange.},
doi = {10.3390/s17051098},
journal = {Sensors},
number = 12,
volume = 17,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 6 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Consequences of climate change on the tree of life in Europe
journal, February 2011

  • Thuiller, Wilfried; Lavergne, Sébastien; Roquet, Cristina
  • Nature, Vol. 470, Issue 7335
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature09705

Tree rainfall interception measured by stem compression: TREE RAINFALL INTERCEPTION
journal, April 2008

  • Friesen, J.; van Beek, C.; Selker, J.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008WR007074

Impact of Diurnal Variation in Vegetation Water Content on Radar Backscatter From Maize During Water Stress
journal, July 2015

  • van Emmerik, Tim; Steele-Dunne, Susan C.; Judge, Jasmeet
  • IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 53, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2014.2386142

Wind-induced tree sways
journal, December 1987


Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size
journal, January 2014

  • Stephenson, N. L.; Das, A. J.; Condit, R.
  • Nature, Vol. 507, Issue 7490
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature12914

Oscillation damping in trees
journal, June 2013


New technique to measure forest floor interception – an application in a beech forest in Luxembourg
journal, January 2007

  • Gerrits, A. M. J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Hoffmann, L.
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 11, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-11-695-2007

Terrestrial water fluxes dominated by transpiration
journal, April 2013

  • Jasechko, Scott; Sharp, Zachary D.; Gibson, John J.
  • Nature, Vol. 496, Issue 7445
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature11983

Amazon forests maintain consistent canopy structure and greenness during the dry season
journal, February 2014

  • Morton, Douglas C.; Nagol, Jyoteshwar; Carabajal, Claudia C.
  • Nature, Vol. 506, Issue 7487
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature13006

Using Diurnal Variation in Backscatter to Detect Vegetation Water Stress
journal, July 2012

  • Steele-Dunne, Susan C.; Friesen, Jan; van de Giesen, Nick
  • IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 50, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2012.2194156

Evaluation of drag coefficients of poplar-tree crowns by a field test method
journal, January 2010


Hyperdominance in Amazonian forest carbon cycling
journal, April 2015

  • Fauset, Sophie; Johnson, Michelle O.; Gloor, Manuel
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7857

A green illusion
journal, February 2014


Large-Eddy Atmosphere–Land-Surface Modelling over Heterogeneous Surfaces: Model Development and Comparison with Measurements
journal, April 2013


Atmospheric Stability Influences on Coupled Boundary Layer and Canopy Turbulence
journal, April 2016

  • Patton, Edward G.; Sullivan, Peter P.; Shaw, Roger H.
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 73, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-15-0068.1

In situ drag coefficient measurements for rooftop trees
journal, May 2016


Large-eddy simulation of turbulent flow above and within a forest
journal, October 1992

  • Shaw, Roger H.; Schumann, Ulrich
  • Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Vol. 61, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1007/BF02033994

A numerical model of tree aerodynamic response to a turbulent airflow
journal, July 2008


Responses of an individual deciduous broadleaved tree to wind excitation
journal, August 2013


Leaf flush drives dry season green-up of the Central Amazon
journal, September 2016


Role of surface heat fluxes underneath cold pools
journal, January 2016

  • Gentine, Pierre; Garelli, Alix; Park, Seung‐Bu
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GL067262

The use of precision dendrometers in research on daily stem size and wood property variation: A review
journal, January 2009


The Local Structure of Turbulence in Incompressible Viscous Fluid for Very Large Reynolds Numbers
journal, July 1991

  • Kolmogorov, A. N.
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 434, Issue 1890
  • DOI: 10.1098/rspa.1991.0075

Plant Responses to Water Stress
journal, June 1973


A prism-based system for monitoring the swaying of trees under wind loading
journal, April 1998


Amazon rainforests green-up with sunlight in dry season
journal, January 2006

  • Huete, Alfredo R.; Didan, Kamel; Shimabukuro, Yosio E.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL025583

A resonating rainfall and evaporation recorder: TECHNICAL NOTE
journal, August 2012

  • Stewart, Ryan D.; Hut, Rolf; Rupp, David E.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 48, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011WR011529

Effects of tropical deforestation on climate and agriculture
journal, December 2014

  • Lawrence, Deborah; Vandecar, Karen
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2430

Dielectric Response of Corn Leaves to Water Stress
journal, January 2017

  • Van Emmerik, Tim; Steele-Dunne, Susan C.; Judge, Jasmeet
  • IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, Vol. 14, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2016.2606662

An improved Cauchy number approach for predicting the drag and reconfiguration of flexible vegetation
journal, September 2015


Transpiration in the global water cycle
journal, June 2014


Some drag coefficients for british forest trees derived from wind tunnel studies
journal, January 1973


Wind and remnant tree sway in forest cutblocks. II. Relating measured tree sway to wind statistics
journal, March 1999


Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum
journal, April 2009


Including the Drag Effects of Canopies: Real Case Large-Eddy Simulation Studies
journal, August 2012

  • Aumond, Pierre; Masson, Valery; Lac, Christine
  • Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Vol. 146, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10546-012-9758-x

Climate extremes and the carbon cycle
journal, August 2013

  • Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Ciais, Philippe
  • Nature, Vol. 500, Issue 7462
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature12350

Discerning the forest from the trees: an essay on scaling canopy stomatal conductance
journal, April 1991

  • Baldocchi, Dennis D.; Luxmoore, Robert J.; Hatfield, Jerry L.
  • Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Vol. 54, Issue 2-4
  • DOI: 10.1016/0168-1923(91)90006-C

Natural sway frequencies and damping ratios of trees: concepts, review and synthesis of previous studies
journal, March 2004


Climate change and European forests: What do we know, what are the uncertainties, and what are the implications for forest management?
journal, December 2014

  • Lindner, Marcus; Fitzgerald, Joanne B.; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.
  • Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 146
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.07.030

Carbon Dioxide Exchange between an Undisturbed Old-Growth Temperate Forest and the Atmosphere
journal, January 1994

  • Hollinger, D. Y.; Kelliher, F. M.; Byers, J. N.
  • Ecology, Vol. 75, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.2307/1939390

An improved heat pulse method to measure low and reverse rates of sap flow in woody plants
journal, June 2001


Swaying of trees in response to wind and thinning in a stand of Scots pine
journal, February 1996


A noninvasive optical system for the measurement of xylem and phloem sap flow in woody plants of small stem size
journal, February 2007


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Tree sway of 19 Amazon trees
    dataset, January 2018


    Natural sway frequencies and damping ratios of trees: concepts, review and synthesis of previous studies
    journal, March 2004


    Evaluation of drag coefficients of poplar-tree crowns by a field test method
    journal, January 2010


    In situ drag coefficient measurements for rooftop trees
    journal, May 2016


    Including the Drag Effects of Canopies: Real Case Large-Eddy Simulation Studies
    journal, August 2012

    • Aumond, Pierre; Masson, Valery; Lac, Christine
    • Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Vol. 146, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1007/s10546-012-9758-x

    Large-Eddy Atmosphere–Land-Surface Modelling over Heterogeneous Surfaces: Model Development and Comparison with Measurements
    journal, April 2013


    Some drag coefficients for british forest trees derived from wind tunnel studies
    journal, January 1973


    An improved Cauchy number approach for predicting the drag and reconfiguration of flexible vegetation
    journal, September 2015


    Responses of an individual deciduous broadleaved tree to wind excitation
    journal, August 2013


    Transpiration in the global water cycle
    journal, June 2014


    The use of precision dendrometers in research on daily stem size and wood property variation: A review
    journal, January 2009


    Climate change and European forests: What do we know, what are the uncertainties, and what are the implications for forest management?
    journal, December 2014

    • Lindner, Marcus; Fitzgerald, Joanne B.; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.
    • Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 146
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.07.030

    Oscillation damping in trees
    journal, June 2013


    Leaf flush drives dry season green-up of the Central Amazon
    journal, September 2016


    Consequences of climate change on the tree of life in Europe
    journal, February 2011

    • Thuiller, Wilfried; Lavergne, Sébastien; Roquet, Cristina
    • Nature, Vol. 470, Issue 7335
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature09705

    Terrestrial water fluxes dominated by transpiration
    journal, April 2013

    • Jasechko, Scott; Sharp, Zachary D.; Gibson, John J.
    • Nature, Vol. 496, Issue 7445
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature11983

    Climate extremes and the carbon cycle
    journal, August 2013

    • Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Ciais, Philippe
    • Nature, Vol. 500, Issue 7462
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature12350

    Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size
    journal, January 2014

    • Stephenson, N. L.; Das, A. J.; Condit, R.
    • Nature, Vol. 507, Issue 7490
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature12914

    Amazon forests maintain consistent canopy structure and greenness during the dry season
    journal, February 2014

    • Morton, Douglas C.; Nagol, Jyoteshwar; Carabajal, Claudia C.
    • Nature, Vol. 506, Issue 7487
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature13006

    A green illusion
    journal, February 2014


    Effects of tropical deforestation on climate and agriculture
    journal, December 2014

    • Lawrence, Deborah; Vandecar, Karen
    • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2430

    Hyperdominance in Amazonian forest carbon cycling
    journal, April 2015

    • Fauset, Sophie; Johnson, Michelle O.; Gloor, Manuel
    • Nature Communications, Vol. 6, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7857

    A numerical model of tree aerodynamic response to a turbulent airflow
    journal, July 2008


    An improved heat pulse method to measure low and reverse rates of sap flow in woody plants
    journal, June 2001


    A noninvasive optical system for the measurement of xylem and phloem sap flow in woody plants of small stem size
    journal, February 2007


    An architectural understanding of natural sway frequencies in trees
    journal, June 2019

    • Jackson, T.; Shenkin, A.; Moore, J.
    • Journal of The Royal Society Interface, Vol. 16, Issue 155
    • DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2019.0116

    The Local Structure of Turbulence in Incompressible Viscous Fluid for Very Large Reynolds Numbers
    journal, July 1991

    • Kolmogorov, A. N.
    • Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 434, Issue 1890
    • DOI: 10.1098/rspa.1991.0075

    Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum
    journal, April 2009


    Plant Responses to Water Stress
    journal, June 1973


    Carbon Dioxide Exchange between an Undisturbed Old-Growth Temperate Forest and the Atmosphere
    journal, January 1994

    • Hollinger, D. Y.; Kelliher, F. M.; Byers, J. N.
    • Ecology, Vol. 75, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2307/1939390

    New technique to measure forest floor interception – an application in a beech forest in Luxembourg
    journal, January 2007

    • Gerrits, A. M. J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Hoffmann, L.
    • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 11, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.5194/hess-11-695-2007

    An architectural understanding of natural sway frequencies in trees
    journal, June 2019

    • Jackson, T.; Shenkin, A.; Moore, J.
    • Journal of The Royal Society Interface, Vol. 16, Issue 155
    • DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2019.0116