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Category: research

How we can better understand our forest ecosystems with laser scanning

by Luiza Tyminska and Jean-Matthieu Monnet

If you want to investigate the influence of management on forest resilience after disturbances, you can of course put your walking shoes on and do field measurements. However, how can you evaluate forest areas of several hundreds of square kilometers? In forest science, we consider Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) a strong solution for mapping forest characteristics – including forests’ internal structure – at high resolution over wide areas. ALS is a remote sensing technology based on the emission of laser pulses. The laser light can penetrate the tree canopy and reflect on objects located inside the forest, or even by the ground. The Earth’s surface is then modelled as point clouds in three dimensions with geometric information on the height of the vegetation, but also on its internal structure. In the project Innovative forest management strategies for a resilient bioeconomy under climate change and disturbances (I-MAESTRO), we used ALS for two purposes: describing the forests to get an initial state for simulations, and analysing forest dynamics with repeated measurements.

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Expecting the unexpected: how to manage forest landscapes in a highly uncertain future?

In past blog posts we have been discussing how forest landscapes can be seen as interconnected and functional complex networks – and shown how network analysis can be combined with modelling and forest management. But is the so-called functional network approach really an efficient way to optimize forest landscape management and to promote ecological resilience in the face of unexpected global change stresses?

When we go hiking in the mountains, we know that before reaching an appealing and gratifying view we often need to walk up a few hundred meters inside a forest. Sounds natural, it has always been this way. We have cities, crop fields, grasslands, forests, rocky mountain peaks, etc. Forests are intrinsically part of our cultural landscape, and it is normal to think they will always be. Although such landscapes look simple, when we disentangle each single element, we realise that it is a very complex socio-ecological network, with both human and biophysical processes linked across different spatial and temporal scales.

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Between Theory and Reality Check: PyroLife trainings in Cyprus

Written by Isabeau Ottolini

Isabeau Ottolini is an Early Stage Researcher within the European ITN project, PyroLife. She is researching Community-based Communications on extreme wildfires. She will spend her secondment at the EFI Bonn Office.

Between 8-14 April, the EU funded PyroLife project held two training events on the island of Cyprus. This blog post shares what we, as Early Stage Researchers, did and learnt during the Risk Communication workshop and the in-field module of the Making Change in Wildfire Management: Science Policy Interaction training.

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Exploring the world of investigative journalism: Some takeaways from the panel session at the International Forest Policy Meeting (#IFPM4) 

From wildfires to deforestation in the tropics, journalism brings various forest-related issues to the public attention. Yet, one of the main concerns from the scientific communities is the issue of ‘speed over accuracy’, where many news journalists fail to report complex topics without providing contextual background. Particularly in the digital age, when the speed of news is faster than ever before, there is even more pressure on today’s news industry to report forest-related issues in a timely and accurate manner.  

The good news is that there is a wide variety of journalism practices that take serious consideration of the process for inquiry. In particular, investigative journalists take a unique approach to exploring the issues in depth before jumping to a quick conclusion. Many investigative journalists spend years following a single issue by working closely with scientific experts and mastering the skills to wrangle complex (and often unstructured) data to identify the links that no one has ever addressed in the news. 

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What can we say about forest-related employment and green jobs in the forest sector after 3 years?

What has been happening since its inception? “It is an exciting time to summarize what we have done for the past 3.5 years and look…

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Do we need a new science-policy interface for forests and forestry? Invitation to join the panel at #IFPM4

Policy makers have stressed the need for reliable and timely information and data from science to better understand the role of forests in climate change, and there have been ongoing discussions…

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What does social media engagement around the Amazon rainforest fires tell us about public narratives? – Takeaways from our analysis

During the months of August and September 2019, the Amazon rainforest fires captured global attention. Celebrities, politicians and other public figures spoke up and shared…

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“Herkulesaufgabe in Zeiten maximaler Unsicherheit”

Auch wenn unsere Nachrichten derzeit von anderen Themen dominiert werden:  Am Internationalen Tag des Waldes tauchte aus endlosen Pandemie-Wellen und dem Krieg in der Ukraine kurz auch mal wieder das Thema Wald und Klimaerwärmung auf. Die aktuell krassen Temperaturrekorde in Arktis und Antarktis betreffen den Wald zwar nicht direkt, aber selbst Klimawissenschaftler*innen sind beunruhigt über die unerwartet starke Anhäufung von Extremereignissen. Jegliches Mittelmaß scheint dem Wetter abhandengekommen zu sein. Nachdem im Winter noch die Alarmglocken auf der Iberischen Halbinsel läuteten, weil wochenlang alle Niederschläge mit den Tiefdruckgebieten nach Mitteleuropa abgedrängt wurden, hat sich das Blatt jetzt radikal gedreht. Statt Trockenstress sind dort nun Unwetterwarnungen wegen Starkniederschlägen angezeigt. Ich freue mich immer über März-Sonne, aber Wälder und Äcker sehnen sich hierzulande schon wieder nach Feuchtigkeit – es hat ja kaum nennenswert geregnet den ganzen Monat. Der Klimawandel mag von anderen Themen überdeckt werden, ist aber weiter aktuell und alarmierend. Das weiß auch der seit 100 Tagen amtierende Bundesminister Cem Özdemir, der in seinem Grußwort zum digitalen Waldsymposium am Tag des Waldes unterstrichen hat, wie wichtig die Förderung der Anpassungsfähigkeit unserer Wälder in diesen Zeiten ist.  

Die Anpassung von Wäldern und Waldwirtschaft an den Klimawandel wird uns als Thema noch lange beschäftigen. Der Wissenschaftliche Beirat für Waldpolitik (WBW), der die Bundesregierung bei der Gestaltung der Rahmenbedingungen für eine nachhaltige Bewirtschaftung der Wälder unterstützt, hat zu diesem Thema im Oktober ein Gutachten veröffentlicht. Darin werden – basierend auf aktuellen Forschungserkenntnissen – Handlungsempfehlungen in unterschiedlichen Themenfeldern formuliert.  

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Growing the community of forest policy, media and science 

Registration for the International Forest Policy Meeting open (27-29th April 2022)! 

We are excited and pleased to open the registration for the 4th International Forest Policy Meeting (IFPM4). To enhance scientific exchange and strengthen the forest research networks, the European Forest Institute (EFI), EFI’s Forest Policy Research Network coordinated by the University of Life Sciences in Vienna (BOKU) and Wageningen University and Research, organise three lively days dedicated to the forest policy and governance research with a special focus on forest policy-media-science interface. Moreover, IFPM4 is a platform for early-career and experienced scientists working in forest policy and governance to present, discuss and inform on the latest research. This year, we decided to shed light to the increasingly relevant role that media play in communicating scientific findings and science-informed decision-making. The event will feature different thematic sessions including, keynotes, round tables, graphic recordings, panels and plenary debate, young researchers’ competitions and oral presentations involving experts from all over the world. 

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