Canadian Forest Service Publications

Remote sensing for the Spanish forests in the 21st century: a review of advances, needs, and opportunities. Gómez, C., Alejandro, P., Hermosilla, T., Pita, F. M., Pascual, C., Fernández, L. Á. R., ... & Valbuena, R. (2019). Forest systems, 28(1), 1.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40262

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.5424/fs/2019281-14221

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Abstract

Forest ecosystems provide a host of services and societal benefits, including carbon storage, habitat for fauna, recreation, and provision of wood or non-wood products. In a context of complex demands on forest resources, identifying priorities for biodiversity and carbon budgets require accurate tools with sufficient temporal frequency. Moreover, understanding long term forest dynamics is necessary for sustainable planning and management. Remote sensing (RS) is a powerful means for analysis, synthesis and report, providing insights and contributing to inform decisions upon forest ecosystems. In this communication we review current applications of RS techniques in Spanish forests, examining possible trends, needs, and opportunities offered by RS in a forestry context. Currently, wall-to-wall optical and LiDAR data are extensively used for a wide range of applications—many times in combination—whilst radar or hyperspectral data are rarely used in the analysis of Spanish forests. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) carrying visible and infrared sensors are gaining ground in acquisition of data locally and at small scale, particularly for health assessments. Forest fire identification and characterization are prevalent applications at the landscape scale, whereas structural assessments are the most widespread analyses carried out at limited extents. Unparalleled opportunities are offered by the availability of diverse RS data like those provided by the European Copernicus programme and recent satellite LiDAR launches, processing capacity, and synergies with other ancillary sources to produce information of our forests. Overall, we live in times of unprecedented opportunities for monitoring forest ecosystems with a growing support from RS technologies.

Plain Language Summary

Forest ecosystems provide many services and social benefits such as carbon storage, habitat for fauna, recreation, and provision of wood or non-wood products. To identify the demands on forest resources, it is necessary to use accurate tools to identify the priorities for biodiversity and carbon budgets. Understanding the long-term forest dynamics is important for sustainable planning and management. Remote sensing (RS) is used to provide insight and help inform decisions affecting forest ecosystems. This review is about the current application of RS techniques in Spanish forests. It looks at the possible trends, needs, and opportunities that RS can provide in a forestry context. There are many opportunities for monitoring forest ecosystems, with a growing support from RS technologies.