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ASSESSMENT OF AGE, DIVERSITY AND POTENTIAL BIODIVERSITY OF DANISH FOREST

 

 

As a part of the ESA / EU program GMES Service Element for Forest (GSE-FM) a number of satellite derived Forest indicators have been developed for Denmark. The service is intended to support the monitoring and mapping of biological rich forest areas which comply to the intensions of Council Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 concerning Monitoring of Forests and Environmental Interactions in the European Community (Forest Focus); United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and Council of Europe Landscape Convention. The service will also be able to support the Danish part of the NATURA 2000 programme, by helping to identify some of the potential habitats in the Danish forests.

 

The service has implication for following areas:

 

1.       Identification of biological rich Danish Forest areas - servicing the Danish forest law 

2.       Improve reporting obligations for biological rich forest areas incl. the Natura 2000

          program

3.       Reliability of forest and biodiversity statistics

4.       Forest statistics used in Denmark

5.       Provides insights into how to best address future biodiversity reporting commitments

Forest Indicators: 

1.       Forest Fragmentation -   Forest fragmentation index integrated in Danish 1 km grid

2.       Old Mature Forest  - Old Deciduous and Conifer present in Danish 1 km grid

3.       Percentage of Old Deciduous Forest - Percentage of old deciduous in Danish 1 km grid.

  

Description:

To facilitate a national overview three forest indices were produced and integrated into the Danish 1 x 1 km grid. The input has been the forest layer from the Danish GSE-FM service for Kyoto reporting representing 2005-6 which hold a geometric accuracy of < 10 m RMS and a thematic accuracy of > 95%, the forest map has a 0.5 ha Minimum Mapping Unit (MMU). A more detailed classification of the forest layer has been made to derived old forest classes of conifer and deciduous. Down listed forest type and age classes have been used for definition of old forest classes.  

 

Deciduous (general classes +/- 15 yr)

Age:

Young: new increment generally under 20 yr 

Medium phase: 20 – 90 yr

Old: above 90

 

Coniferous (general classes +/- 5 yr)

Age:

Young: new increment generally under 20 yr

Medium phase: 20 – 40 yr

Mature:  above 40 

 

The biological richest forests in Denmark are linked to old deciduous forest. The map above show areas of highest concentration of old deciduous forest by percentage of old deciduous forest in the Danish 1 km grid.   

 

Old deciduous Forest:

Percentage of old deciduous in Danish 1 km grid was produced for Denmark from EO data from 2005-7. A reclassification of the forest mask has done to map old deciduous forest with a 0.5 ha MMU. The product has a geometric accuracy of < 10 m RMS. A thematic accuracy of 80% +/- 15% for old deciduous forest was required by the user. The realised accuracy was 84.5 %.

 

The old deciduous forest index is an important input for assessment of biological rich forest areas in Denmark which comply to the intensions of Council Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 concerning Monitoring of Forests and Environmental Interactions in the European Community (Forest Focus); United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and Council of Europe Landscape Convention. The service will also be able to substantially support the Danish forest law and parts of the national Natura2000 programme, by identification of the olds and potentially biological riches Danish forests.

 

Down listed figure from Vejle Fjord area show an example of the back-ground data which contain 27 forest classes. Green classes represent old broadleaved classes. The figure furthermore reveal an extraordinary high presents of divers old forest in the Trelde næs area which still have to be fully investigated.

 

Full detailed example of the satellite derived forest map which have been used to produce forest indicator maps of Denmark. Green colors refer to old deciduous forest brown to younger stands, purple colors refer to conifer where the darkest are the oldest. Yellow polygons are Danish Natura2000 forest habitat areas. The map has a spatial resolution of 25 m. 

 

The production of the old deciduous forest layer is based upon a method that has been developed for analyzing forest and biodiversity in Europe’s richest temperate forest - the World Heritage Site Bialowieza forest in Poland and  Belarus. In a wider context, the result of this method can be correlated with biodiversity and can be used as a single biodiversity indicator on a European scale. Currently PRINS is investigating the biodiversity relationship between old forest structures observed from EO data, forest indexes and in-situ biological indicator data. 

 

Use of woodpeckers as a forest biodiversity indicator is well documented. Above figure show the striking co-occurrence between selected woodpeckers and the PRINS developed EO biodiversity index. (Danish woodpecker data provided from Birdlife Denmark: www.dofbasen.dk).

 

 

Forest fragmentation

Forest fragmentation has been calculated from the forest mask of Denmark and is defined as by the down listed formula (Monmonier, 1974).

 

A 7 x 7 pixel window has been used for the calculation and the result has been multiplied by 1000. The mean scoring have been integrated into the Danish 1 km grid.

 

Fragmentation:                F = (n-1)/(c-1)     

     

where                            n = number of different classes present in the kernel

                                     c = number of cells considered (7x7 = 49)

 

 

Forest fragmentation of Danish forests

 

Percentage of Old Forest

The old forest classes in Danish 1 km grid was produced for Denmark based on EO data from 2005-7. The forest indicator presents parcels in the Danish 1 km grid where both old deciduous and old conifer is present.

 

A reclassification of the forest mask layer has isolated old deciduous and old conifer forest with a 0.5 ha MMU. The product has a geometric accuracy of < 10 m RMS. A thematic accuracy of 80% +/- 15% for old deciduous forest was required by the user. The realised accuracy was 84.5 %. No direct accuracy assessment was made on old conifer was made due to insufficient quality reference data. However, indication of satisfactory accuracy was obtained from NFI data and the old forest classes indices can be considered as an important contribution for assessment of biological rich forest areas in Denmark. This comply to the intensions of Council Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 concerning Monitoring of Forests and Environmental Interactions in the European Community (Forest Focus); United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and Council of Europe Landscape Convention. The service will also be able to support the Danish forest law and parts of the national Natura2000 programme, by identification of the olds and potentially biological riches Danish forests.

 

 

Percentage of Old Forest classes (both old deciduous and old conifer) in Danish 1 km grid based on EO data from 2005-7. The forest map shows where the highest concentration of old forest is located in Denmark.

 

All the forest diversity products have been fully documented incl. development of comprehensive metadata and quality ensured by three external sources including: GAF AG, ESA and Quail Systems Ltd.

  

Client:

- ESA 2006-2009

- Forest and Landscape, Denmark.

- The Danish Forest and Nature Agency.

 

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