Canadian Forest Service Publications

Using Multi-Source Data to Map and Model the Predisposition of Forests to Wind Disturbance. Saarinen, N., Vastaranta, M., Honkavaara, E., Wulder, M.A., White, J.C., Litkey, P., Holopainen M. & Hyyppä, J. 2015. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research

Year: 2015

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36125

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1080/02827581.2015.1056751

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Natural disturbances such as wind are known to cause threats to ecosystem services as well as sustainable forest ecosystem management. The objective of this research was to better understand and quantify drivers of predisposition to wind disturbance, and to model and map the probability of wind-induced forest disturbances (PDIS) in order to support forest management planning. To accomplish this, we used open-access airborne LiDAR data as well as multi-source national forest inventory (NFI) data to model PDIS in southern Finland. A strong winter storm occurred in the study area in December 2011. High spatial resolution aerial images, acquired after the disturbance event, were used as reference data. Potential drivers associated with PDIS were examined using a multivariate logistic regression model. The model based on LiDAR provided good agreement with detected areas susceptible to wind disturbance (73%); however, when LiDAR was combined with multi-source NFI data, the results were more promising: prediction accuracy increased to 81%. The strongest predictors in the model were mean canopy height, mean elevation, and stem volume of the main tree species (Norway spruce and Scots pine). Our results indicate that open-access LiDAR data can be used to model and map the probability of predisposition to wind disturbance, providing spatially detailed, valuable information for planning and mitigation purposes.