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Forest canopy leaf area index (LAI) is a critical variable for the modeling of climates and ecosystems over both regional and global scales. This paper proposes a physically based method to retrieve LAI and foliage area volume density (FAVD) profile directly from full-waveform Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data using a radiative transfer (RT) model. First, a physical interaction model between LiDAR and a forest scene was built on the basis of radiative transfer theories. Next, FAVDdoi:10.3390/rs70201897 fatcat:kvvnuney6rgspetbndpu5rvjxe