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Satellite based environmental monitoring of european forests


The aim of this pilot project is to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of harmonised and demonstrated satellite based methods for assessment of disturbances in European forests. The methods are developed to enable The EC/DGVI customer on the European level, and Forest Administrations on national level, to conduct long-term monitoring of effects caused by air pollution, climatic stress, insect attacks, storm, and fire damage. The implementation of proposed methods aims firstly at evaluate the possibility to complement or partly replace field inventories in the Level I forest plots, set up by EU/DGVI in a 16 x 16km grid. From statistical aggregation of Level I plot results, NUTS regions where local, area-covering monitoring is of interest can be identified. Secondly, harmonised local monitoring methodology will be demonstrated to local and national Forest Administrations in provincial NUTS regions within the four major European forest ecosystem regions. Using this conceptual framework, a system is created that enables sample based monitoring at the European level to a reduced cost, that provides a statistical basis supporting decisions on where to apply local area-covering surveys, and includes harmonised methods for local surveys.
Methods using Landsat TM and SPOT data for assessment of the environmental problems addressed; air pollution effects, climatic stress, insect attacks, storm and fire damage have been evaluated in earlier efforts. However, the methods used in different European regions and climate zones need harmonising. Analysis and compilation of obtainable accuracies for the different damage types as compared to end user requirements is also needed. The project includes a minor element of methodological development evaluating the possiblity to improve existing techniques by the use of new high resolution satellite satellite data such as IRS-1C, MOMS, and ADEOS.
To reach these general objectives, the project aims at the following measurable goals:
- To compare and harmonise satellite techniques and classification systems usedin the four major European forest ecosystem regions for defoliation anddiscoloration on assessable tree species, aiming at harmonised monitoring ofthe transnational Level I plot grid. To implement chosen techniques onLevel I plots for two pilot satellite scenes in each of the four forestregions.
- To determine how large a percentage of the Level I plots that will beassessable using satellite data with adequate accuracy, and to evaluate thecost-effectiveness of applied methods compared to the current field baseaLevel I inventory.
- To demonstrate area-covering monitoring of the different damage types onedemonstration area within each of the four major European forest ecosystemregions. These methods will vary between regions due to diverging, forestand damage types and the availability of ancillary data such as digitalforestmaps and elevation models.
- To produce a detailed guidebook for the methods proposed and used, availableboth to associated end users and other general users.
- To identify advantages, weaknesses and cost-effectiveness of the demonstratedsatellite based monitoring techniques compared to field and airborne surveys.A focal point is the comparison of user requirement: regarding accuracies fordifferent parameters and at different scales on one hand, and the achievedaccuracies or the other.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Swedish Environmental Research Institute Ltd.

100 31 Stockholm

Participants (3)

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