The group is based on multidisciplinary research organized under five research areas:
1. Forest ecosystem inventory and monitoring
Deals with the improvement of forest inventory methods as well as with the techniques for data imputation to non-measured stands. It uses a multi-source approach, combining field data with remotely sensed information.
2. Understanding impacts of silviculture on forests ecosystems
Focuses on increasing the knowledge on physiological processes, impact at alternative silvicultural systems and forest management approaches in tree and stand development. The objective is to improve the forest models that are the core of the forest simulators. Research relies on data from several field infrastructures, including sites intensively monitored for high frequency physiological measurements, climate, soil, and water monitoring, and a set of permanent plots for biometric measurements.
3. Forest ecosystem models
Deals with the development of empirical and process-based growth and yield models applicable to the most important forest ecosystems in Portugal, as well as with modelling the occurrence and impact of disturbances (eg. fire, pests and diseases).
4. Optimization techniques and methods
Addresses optimization methods and techniques, namely the development of a) dynamic and mixed integer programming models to integrate wildfire risk in stand and forest-level management planning, b) Pareto frontier approaches to address multiple objective forest management planning and c) decision support systems architectures, d) methods to support forest policy development.
5. Forest simulators and decision support systems
Is the “end-product” of the group’s research and integrates the knowledge and information acquired in the other lines as well as from other CEF’s research groups. The objective is to develop tools to support forest management along different spatial scales, from the stand to the whole country and make them available to the public. A good example is the FCTools page where forest simulators and other tools can be downloaded.