This Week we were at the VI Mediterranean Forest Week in Lebanon to present the results of our project. We had a poster (link for the download) and a presentation at the Mediterranean Forest Model Network in a special session dedicated to the best practices for the sustainable forest management (download the presentation).
On the last issue of Italian Journal of Forest and Mountain Environments published by the Italian Academy of Forest Sciences a scientific contribution by our team with the first results of the FRESh LIFE project.
On 29th of January in Florence we’ll participate at the seminar “Geoinformatics in monitoring forest disasters” organized in collaboration with the Laboratory of Geomatics of the Faculty of Forestry, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland.
Here below more info about the program of the day.
In these days our team is in the field to map windstorm damages in the forests of northen Italy. High resolution data acquired by drones will be useful to estimate the volume of fallen trees and create maps of windthrown areas.
Here below some photos of the first day of flights near Lavarone (TN).
This evening at Bright, the night of researchers, our coordinator will present the FRESh LIFE project during a mini-conference about “New Technologies”. All the info in the images below or at this link.
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.
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!
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.