A new product from the FRESh LIFE project!

A new paper from the our team of researchers.

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Here below the abstract, you can find the full version on our publications page!

UAV Remote Sensing for Biodiversity Monitoring: Are Forest Canopy Gaps Good Covariates?

Abstract: Forest canopy gaps are important to ecosystem dynamics. Depending on tree species, small canopy openings may be associated with intra-crown porosity and with space among crowns. Yet, literature on the relationships between very fine-scaled patterns of canopy openings and biodiversity features is limited. This research explores the possibility of: (1) mapping forest canopy gaps from a very high spatial resolution orthomosaic (10 cm), processed from a versatile unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imaging platform, and (2) deriving patch metrics that can be tested as covariates of variables of interest for forest biodiversity monitoring. The orthomosaic was imaged from a test area of 240 ha of temperate deciduous forest types in Central Italy, containing 50 forest inventory plots each of 529 m2 in size. Correlation and linear regression techniques were used to explore relationships between patch metrics and understory (density, development, and species diversity) or forest habitat biodiversity variables (density of micro-habitat bearing trees, vertical species profile, and tree species diversity). The results revealed that small openings in the canopy cover (75% smaller than 7 m2 ) can be faithfully extracted from UAV red, green, and blue bands (RGB) imagery, using the red band and contrast split segmentation. The strongest correlations were observed in the mixed forests (beech and turkey oak) followed by intermediate correlations in turkey oak forests, followed by the weakest correlations in beech forests. Moderate to strong linear relationships were found between gap metrics and understory variables in mixed forest types, with adjusted R2 from linear regression ranging from 0.52 to 0.87. Equally strong correlations in the same forest types were observed for forest habitat biodiversity variables (with adjusted R2 ranging from 0.52 to 0.79), with highest values found for density of trees with microhabitats and vertical species profile. In conclusion, this research highlights that UAV remote sensing can potentially provide covariate surfaces of variables of interest for forest biodiversity monitoring, conventionally collected in forest inventory plots. By integrating the two sources of data, these variables can be mapped over small forest areas with satisfactory levels of accuracy, at a much higher spatial resolution than would be possible by field-based forest inventory solely.

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Video from AIT international conference 2018

During the AIT international conference 2018 in Florence, FRESh LIFE had an entire session dedicated to the project where all the partner presented the last results of their studies on the demonstration sites and discuss with the public about it.

Here below the link to our youtube channel where you can find all the video of the session!

 

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Monitoring Visit in the demonstration site of Rincine (FI)

In the last few days we had the third monitoring visit of our project. Hosted by UCVV (Unione Comuni Valdarno Valdisieve) we spent two days in the demonstration site of Rincine, talking about project progresses and perspectives with also a visit by our project advisor.

It was a good opportunity to flight again over the forest with our drones and present the new Forest Information System developed by the project.

Thanks to all the partners for collaboration!

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Study Trip to Italy of the Hungarian LIFE “Environment” Team

Today, in our demonstration site of Rincine, we hosted the Hungarian LIFE “Environment” Team that is come in Italy for a study visit. We had a presentation about project aims and activities and, after some questions from our guests, we moved inside the forest for a demonstration flight with the eBee.

Here below some photos of the day.

 

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Save the date! FRESh LIFE and SPIRIT two projects compared

Next Monday 29 of January in the lecture hall of the School of Agriculture of the University of Florence we discuss about the use of drones in forest management. Comparing the results from two projects.

All the details in the image below.

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FRESh LIFE at EFESC General Assembly 2017

Last November it was held in Arnhem (The Netherlands) the EFESC General Assembly.

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Alberto Stefanoni (UCVV), assessor EFESC, was there to present aims and the first results of FRESh LIFE project. Here below some photo taken during his presentation.

 

 

 

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Video of FRESh LIFE session at SISEF 2017

On our YouTube Channel it’s online the video realized during the XI Congress of SISEF where we had an entire session dedicated to our project.

The presentations are avaiable for the download at this link: Pubblications

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FRESh LIFE at SISEF 2017

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This afternoon in Rome, during the XI Congress of SISEF, we had an entire session dedicated to our project. All the partner of FRESh LIFE presented the last results of their studies on the demonstration sites and discuss with the public about it.

The  presentations are avaiable for the download at this link: Pubblications

Here below some photos of the day.

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FRESh LIFE at International Robotics Festival

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In the next days our project will take part at the International Robotics Festival organized in Pisa. Together with other project from the University of Florence we’ll be there to show our drones within the exposition inside Stazione Leopolda.

Here the link to the complete program of the festival: http://www.festivalinternazionaledellarobotica.it/it/programma/

See you in Pisa!

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GO SURF and FRESh LIFE together for Sustainable Forest Management

Yesterday, in our demonstration site of Rincine, took place a meeting between the researchers and the stakeholders for discuss about the importance of a decision supporting system in Sustainable Forest Management. It was a good occasion for share the first results of FRESh LIFE and show the efficiency of our eBee by a demonstration flight. Here below some photos of the day!

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