Forest Resource Information

Image of a forest

Guest Editor for Forest Resource Information
Daniel McInerney, PhD

Paul E. Racette

Deputy Editor‐in‐Chief
Christoph Aubrecht

Articles published for Earthzine’s Forest Resource Information theme (March. 20 – June 20, 2012) address current issues, and existing and emerging techniques to derive forest resource information at different scales.

Specific topics of interest for our Forest Resource Information theme include: how Earth observation (sensors and techniques) is being used to monitor forests and estimate biophysical parameters from local to global scales, including methods of validation; applications of Earth observation techniques that are being used for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) activities and the GEO Forest Carbon Tracking Task (GEO-FCT); uses of satellite image-derived forest map products and statistics to support forest planning and policy making; how Earth observation and information systems are used to monitor natural hazards affecting forests, in particular, forest fires; and the use of interoperable Web-based standards to disseminate and share forest resource information between existing geo-information systems and web-processing work flows.

Theme Articles

A Look at AfriGEOSS

From the cover of a Bioenergy Atlas for Africa brochure. Credit: GEO.To promote data democracy and sharing to improve access, AfriGEOSS will encourage collaboration between academic institutions, emphasize the development of open-source software and open systems, and strengthen the understanding of individuals and institutions of technology limitations, proper dissemination methods and relevant software tools.

Cathryn Primrose-Mathisen, posted on May 5th, 2013
Forest Resource Information, Quick Look



GeoNetwork OpenSource: From Index Cards to Spatial Data Infrastructures

Figure showing Forest Stand in Northwest Germany (middle) and some of its context and properties (from left to right: Stand table, forest map, aerial imagery, digital terrain model). Source: Created by Robert S. Nuske, using DEM and Aerial Photographs (c) GeoBasis-DE/BKG 201.Data management is one of the most pressing issues facing those involved in natural resource projects. GeoNetwork OpenSource facilitates the sustainable exchange of data across different projects and provides for straightforward maintenance and development, even after changes in staff.

Robert S. Nuske and Jan C. Thiele, posted on August 1st, 2012
Articles, Forest Resource Information

Pan-European Forest Maps Derived from Optical Satellite Imagery

Map showing JRC Forest Map 2006. Source: EC-JRC – FRC Unit.There is an increasing need for timely, accurate information on the spatial distribution and composition of forest resources. The use of eForest platform as a reference dataset is a new and unique development in the assessment of large-scale, continental forest maps, representing the first attempt to harmonize the data from Member States National Forest Inventories.

Kempeneers et al., posted on July 25th, 2012
Articles, Earth Observation, Forest Resource Information

Web Services for Forest Data, Analysis and Monitoring: Developments from EuroGEOSS

Screenshot from the Eurogeoss web map viewerImproving web-based forest analysis and modeling tools is key to sharing accurate and up-to-date knowledge. But as the methods for sharing increase, so too must the desire for preventing model-based errors and a dependence on one technology. As is the case in many scenarios, a multi-disciplinary approach is best.

Bastin et al., posted on July 25th, 2012
Articles, Earth Observation, Forest Resource Information

The Changing California Coast: Relationships Between Climatic Variables and Coastal Vegetation Succession

Vegetation classification of the study area in 2010.Understanding patterns of vegetation change and related climatic factors are critical, especially in light of future climate change projections that could profoundly alter vegetation patterns and processes. A recent NASA Applied Sciences DEVELOP project focused on the use of the Landsat-5 TM satellite images to assess the general vegetation distribution pattern and areas of vegetation change along the California coast from 1985-2010.

Hsu et al., posted on July 12th, 2012
Articles, Climate, Earth Observation, Ecosystems, Forest Resource Information



Reporting on European Forest Fragmentation: Standardized Indices and Web Map Services

Screenshot from European forest data centre website. Many of Europe’s habitats are highly fragmented and at risk of further fragmentation as a result of ongoing developments and land-use changes. A study aims to support the reporting on the status and trends of ecosystem fragmentation, motivated by the need of measuring progress toward achieving global and European biodiversity policy targets.

Estreguil et al., posted on July 5th, 2012
Articles, Forest Resource Information

Is Forest Use in the Balearic Islands the Result of an Environmental Conscience?

<” rel=”shadowbox[sbpost-370098];player=img;”>Map of forests in the balearic islands, 2006. LPAn essay on the Balearic Islands, located off the eastern coast of Spain. Nearly half of the islands are covered by forests. The author posits that an environmental conscience created by the social impact of urbanization effects in the Balearic Islands has led to a protection movement and the preservation of a great area of forests.

Joan Rossello, posted on July 2nd, 2012
Forest Resource Information, OpEd

Using EcoSAR to Measure Forest Structure and Biomass

NASA’s P3 aircraft with the EcoSAR instrument and an example of an InSAR image of a forestThe study of the carbon cycle and its relationship to climate change has been hindered by an inability to collect data. The EcoSAR aims to provide fine-scale measurements to support the study of the carbon cycle and its relationship to climate change.

Fatoyinbo et al., posted on June 29th, 2012
Articles, Earth Observation, Forest Resource Information, Technology



Supporting Precision Forestry in Great Britain

Figure showing Stem Straightness classes for a british forestA new, simpler and more cost-effective method of obtaining information on forest resources has been produced. Using a combination of airborne LiDAR, stand information and models, the new method will help provide foresters with more detailed information, ultimately allowing them to make better decisions.

Suárez et al., posted on June 22nd, 2012
Articles, Earth Observation, Forest Resource Information



Teaming Drought with Wildfires: EU Researchers Suggest New Data for Forest Weather Index

A photo of a post-forest fire pine plantation (Mediterranean forest) taken in 2005, in Sestri, Genova. Credit: Dr. Andrea Camia (EC-JRC) .The European Commission has created a web-based fire warning and assessment portal known as the European Forest Fires Information System, or EFFIS. The site provides comprehensive forest fire information aimed at a wide audience in all 27 European Union member states. Researchers are now exploring the integration of drought data as an improvement.

Catherine M. Cooney, posted on June 11th, 2012
Articles, Disasters, Earth Observation, Forest Resource Information

Observing Forest Biomass Globally

Cropped satellite image of clouds over a waterway.As the number of quality spatial resolution images available on Google Earth increases, so to does the possibility that every Internet user can help distinguish land cover features with a high degree of reliability. Such an approach, as seen in the Biomass Geo.Wiki tool, is inexpensive and allows Internet users from anywhere in the world to become involved in this global validation exercise.

Schepaschenko et al., posted on June 9th, 2012
Articles, Earth Observation, Forest Resource Information

Improving Access, Utility and Analyses of FAO Forestry Statistics via Geographic Web-based Services

Cropped screenshot showing an example of forest area as percentage of total country area for year 2000 globally.Forestry statistics and metadata compiled from the Global Forest Resources Assessment and global remote sensing survey can be used for many things, including as support for the formulation of forest policies. Still, work needs to be done in order to improve the access and usability of data in order for it to be used to its maximum potential.

Lindquist et al., posted on June 1st, 2012
Articles, Earth Observation, Forest Resource Information



Forest Carbon Research in Ireland: The Importance of Long-Term Monitoring of Forest Growth and Climate

A photo of a snowy forest.A changing climate and humanity’s ever-increasing demands are just some of the pressures being felt by Ireland’s forests. While these biomes meet many of our needs, it is our job to adopt best practices for their monitoring and care.

Brian Tobin and Maarten Nieuwenhuis, posted on May 25th, 2012
Articles, Forest Resource Information

Linking Remote-Sensing Information to Tropical Forest Structure: The Crucial Role of Modelling

Cropped GeoEye image of a deciduous forest in Cameroon. Credit:GEOEYE The 3D modelling of tropical forest structure may not be the norm today, but there are many exciting advancements being made in this realm. Still, technological innovations are needed in order for the process to become more widely available and to be put to better use.

Couteron et al., posted on April 23rd, 2012
Articles, Earth Observation, Forest Resource Information




Leave a Reply