Forests play a key role in the European economy and environment. This role incorporates ecological as well as economic functions which can be affected by the occurrence of insect infestations, storms or windfall events. Local or regional authorities thus require detailed information on the degradation status of their forests to be able to take appropriate countermeasures against forest damage and to ensure sustainable forest management.
For the effective identification of various forest damages and for an operational derivation of forest parameters COPERNICUS Down Stream Services were developed in EUFODOS during the time frame from 2011-2013.
To develop sustainable Forest Downstream Services for the effective assessment of forest damage and forest functional parameters based on COPERNICUS Land/Forest Core Products.
The services, strongly asked by regional forest authorities, were developed by a consortium of commercial service providers and research organisations from Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, and Italy in different European testcases located in 7 European countries in the temperate and boreal zone.
Users and user federation
EUFODOS involved an extensive user community. To secure that the service development is in line with the user requirements all EUFODOS users were engaged in a User Executive Body. The intensive cooperation between service providers and users within the EUFODOS project facilitated the roll-out of the services and the uptake of the services by the users.
Applications and products
EUFODOS focused on the development of services for surveying forest damage and investigating forest parameters which can be used for economic assessments or as a basis for targeted management of protective forests. These services comprise, for instance, a rush service on assessing storm damage, a more targeted non-rush service damage assessment on various damages like storm, forest fire, snow brake, insect damage detection and assessment and a change detection approach assessment. The latter can be applied on any area with any remote sensing data and was demonstrated in a region of almost 8,000 km² using SPOT data with 10m spatial resolution.
The EUFODOS consortium applied the Copernicus High Resolution Forest Core Layer, state-of-the-art optical and radar satellites and LIDAR technology. The advantages using these technologies proved to be applicable manifold, firstly they facilitate the procurement of data in very short time intervals and secondly the processing is realized in a cost efficient way. For instance, an assessment of storm damage can be delivered to users in the form of geo-referenced damage maps based on satellite data quickly and with low investment as compared to using conventional assessment methods.
The EUFODOS products can for instance be applied for:
- Effective damage assessment and countermeasures
Identification of damaged areas – due to storm, snow break, fire or insect infestations (Fig. 1, 2 and 3) in order to enable proper countermeasures, compensation payments or reforestation planning.
- Sustainable management of protective forests
Targeted management of protective forests (Fig. 4) to maintain and enhance their protective function against natural hazards.
- Sustainable management of commercial forests
Wood procurement planning (Fig. 5) and strategic investment planning for commercial forests.
Revision of forest maps and inventories, compilation of regular reports and annual statistics (e.g. changes in forested area), establishment of forest damage information systems.
As an outcome of EUFODOS it is also envisaged to establish a Pan-European Forest Monitoring Service as a regular mapping service in order to provide information on forest damage such as storms and spread of insect infestations for European states in a uniform approach. Such a service may be considered as a complementary action to the initiative for investigating the framework for a European Forest Risk Facility.
Additional information about the EUFODOS project is available at www.eufodos.info
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Figure 1: Snowfall/Snowbreak damages (Source: RESAC, 2013).
Figure 2: Forest fire damages (Source: RESAC, 2013).
Figure 3: Defoliation in pine forest (Source: RapidEye, 2013).
Figure 4: Upper tree height (Source: Joanneum Research, 2013).
Figure 5: Forest stem volume (Source: VTT, 2012).