COST Action FP0603
Forest models for research and decision support in sustainable forest management

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News Publications Meetings Final Meeting Training School Steering Committee Management Committee Members Background Objectives and benefits Scientific programme Organisation Timetable Signatures Memorandum of Understanding

Scientific programme

The objectives of the Action will be achieved through several tasks, each comprising several subtasks, covering all the objectives established for the Action. The development of each task will be undertaken as a set of activities each with a well defined goal and time frame. The work to be developed in these tasks will be supported by a kick-off meeting, 3 workshops (designated by WS1, WS2 and WS3) during the first quarter of the 3 last years of the Action and a final open conference. Each workshop will be supported by previous work of a small Task Group, in most cases a position and discussion paper to initiate the discussion.and a final open conference. Each workshop will be supported by previous work of a small
Task Group, in most cases a position and discussion paper to initiate the discussion.

Task 1: Identification and description of forest growth models available in Europe

Subtask 1.1: Inventory and review of concepts, models and modelling tools
This subtask will identify and describe forest growth models available in Europe and the associated literature. During the first year participants will be encouraged to contribute to a forest growth models literature database that will be coordinated by a designated participant. This database will allow the listing of forest models available as well as the support of a discussion paper on “overview of modelling methodologies”. The discussion during WS1 will aim at identifying the key points that should be described for each model for inclusion in the model register (subtask 1.3).

WG1 presentations from the 1st Workshop held in Vienna 2008
These are presentations from forest simulation models in several countries.The main developments and challenges are reported. There is one common basic structure for each presentation.

Belgium - Download Presentation
Bulgaria - Download Presentation
Czech - Download Presentation
Estonia - Download Presentation
Finland - Download Presentation
France - Download Presentation
Germany - Download Presentation
Greece - Download Presentation
Netherlands - Download Presentation
Norway - Download Presentation
Portugal - Download Presentation
Slovakia - Download Presentation
Slovenia - Download Presentation
Spain - Download Presentation
Switzerland - Download Presentation

Based on previous presentaions the coordinator from WG1 Dr Marc Palahi as produced a summary of the information included, which is available here. Download Summary

Subtask 1.2: Modelling platforms incorporating simulation tools based on growth models, software tools
This subtask will review the modelling platforms and other software tools that incorporate growth models and study the possibility and advantages of adding other models to the existing tools. The existing platforms will be included in a meta database that will describe the structure, models, management alternatives and algorithms as well as other information relevant for each platform. A demonstration of all the platforms identified, including a laboratory where the participants can get in touch with the platforms, is foreseen for the WS2.

Subtask 1.3: Establishing a public-access forest models register
This subtask will design and organize a register of forest growth models. Each model included in the register must be described according to the key points identified under subtask 1.1 and the related literature should also be included in the register as well as the link to web sites that might exist with information about the model. The register will be presented and discussed at WS3.

Task 2: Biological scope to improve forest growth models towards MSFM

Subtask 2.1: Discussion of concepts: underlying theories, modelling concepts, user needs, data availability, and the role of models in decision support
This task will analyse the current framework of forest modelling, reviewed in subtask 1.1, and identify areas for improvement of forest growth models so that they can cope with the requirements of MSFM and with environmental changes. Special attention will be given to the improvement of growth and yield models with more causality-based concepts and sub-models. The objective of the discussion at WS1, supported by a discussion paper on “Can forest growth models be improved to cope with MSFM?”, will be the identification of MSFM needs and possibilities for model improvement.

Subtask 2.2: Simulation of the impact of natural hazards and other disturbances Environmental changes and, to a certain extent, changes in management have led to an increase of the rate of occurrence of natural hazards – fire, storm, insect and other diseases outbreaks – and special attention must be given to the development of methodologies to include these issues in forest models. The state-of-the-art on this topic and the possibility to develop new methodologies is therefore the topic of discussion in WS2, supported by a discussion paper “Natural hazards in growth models”.

Subtask 2.3: Simulation of alternative resource use, adaptive management strategies and development of structurally complex forests
This subtask will be devoted to the use of alternative resources (non-wood products and services) and to new management strategies such as continuous cover forestry, individual-tree based harvest, promotion of natural regeneration, which originate from structurally more complex forests (uneven-aged and multi-species) . The discussion of these topics will be the subject of WS3 and will be initiated by two discussion papers.

Task 3: Data-model interactions

Subtask 3.1: Data availability and data needs
This subtask will deal with data availability both for model development/improvement and for model validation. It will also address the data needs and suggestions in designing or adopting forest inventories. The practical implementation of models from forest inventory data (readily available data) is of particular importance for the usefulness of the models. The topic for discussion in WS1 will be around these topics and supported by a discussion paper “Data for model improvement and implementation”.

Subtask 3.2: Using models for estimation of indicators of MSFM
In order to use models to support forest management decisions they must provide as output values for a list of selected MSFM criteria and indicators. While some of the commonly used indicators are easily provided by models there are some for which the estimation is not straightforward. The objective of this subtask, topic of discussion at WS2, will be to provide guidelines on how to use models for estimation of indicators of MSFM.

Subtask 3.3: Model validation, limits and uncertainties, error propagation in data transformations
Model validation is an important requirement before its implementation into practice. At this point it is important to understand that empirical information from measurements may be processed prior to their use in modelling (e.g. predicting tree height from diameter measurements using weather generators to produce daily weather data to run climate change simulations, etc.). This may lead to a removal of variation, changes in the error structure, bias in the input data, etc. and thus affects the calibration results of models but also the predictive quality of the resulting modelling output. A discussion paper around this subject will be prepared for WS2 and will be the basis for discussion. A data base will be set up to serve as a basis for group validation exercises, very important for both model comparison and for testing validation methodologies.

Task 4: Use of forest models at different scales, from tree to stand to landscape and to European level, scenario modelling

Subtask 4.1: Identification of decision support needs at different scales
This task will mainly deal with model output: what information should models provide in order to support management decisions at different scales? The identification of information needs will be the task of a Task Group that will get in touch with the users in order to identify their needs and prepare a discussion paper on “Scales and decision support” to support the discussions at WS1.

Subtask 4.2: Relationship between models used at different scales
This subtask will discuss the relationship model-scales. Models based on inventory plots assume by definition that the data and thus modelling output are independent from each other. There are several questions that need to be clarified. One of them is the possibility to use the same model through all the scales. For instance, at present large scale simulators, such as the European Forest Information Scenario Model (EFISCEN) rely on yield tables and do not take advantage of the numerous growth and yield models available in Europe. There is the need to find methodologies to override this problem. A discussion paper “Using models at different scales” will be prepared for WS2.

Subtask 4.3: Scenario models
Scenario modelling has become an important task to access the potential range of options within decision making for large regions. In this subtask the role of models, the data needs, the availability of data, their processing and storing, the modelling technology as well as the benefits and limits of the resulting outputs will be reviewed and discussed at WS3. In addition the problem of evaluating the reliability of scenario modelling will also be investigated and assessed.

Task 5: Dissemination of results, identification of future research agenda

The dissemination of the Action activities will mainly be made through the Action web page that will be set-up at the beginning. All the elements produced within the Action – discussion papers, reports, databases – will be posted on the web. Close to the end of the last year an open scientific conference will be organized, providing a comprehensive state of the art, and presenting and disseminating the results of the Action. In order to give more visibility to the Action it is anticipated that this conference will be co-sponsored by Division 4 of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO). The dissemination will also be complemented by several short-term scientific missions (STSM) with emphasis for the training of young scientists.

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