Coniferous forests represent canopies with a high heterogeneity in the horizontal and as well in the vertical dimension. Consequently the interaction of incident radiation is dominated by the complex 3-D canopy structure and architecture. Radiative transfer approaches based on coupled leaf and canopy radiative transfer models (RTM) still allow the simulation of the multidirectional canopy reflectance as a function of leaf optical properties, canopy structure and viewing geometry as well as the retrieval of biophysical and biochemical canopy variables. High-resolution imaging spectrometry supported by light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data and the complex 3-D radiative transfer model FLIGHT (North, 1996) are employed to assess the influence of canopy heterogeneity and structure on canopy reflection. Exhaustive ground measurements of biochemical and biophysical parameters combined with the geometry of single trees derived from LIDAR data provide the possibility of a realistic scene parameterization of a boreal forest in Switzerland.