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Fall 2023 updates: Innovative technologies and data-driven adaptation

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

To continue our fall 2023 updates, the Silva21 community met on Tuesday, October 17th the to discuss ongoing research projects under the theme of innovative technologies and data-driven adaptation. We heard from our industry partners at Domtar and eight HQPs on multiple research projects! Check out summaries of their updates below.


LiDAR EFI for growth projections: new approaches - José Riofrío - Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC

Forest Resource Inventories (FRIs) require a systematic and periodic update to track forest resource changes. Remote sensing technologies, including airborne laser scanning (ALS) and satellite imagery, can be used to update FRIs periodically, enabling the development of Enhanced Forest Inventories (EFIs) in a continuous forest inventory framework. However, non-stand replacing disturbances might affect the accurate quantification of forest attribute changes by altering forest structure, species composition and growth dynamics. This project aims to combine ALS with Permanent Sample Plot (PSP) data to identify areas where non-stand replacing disturbances are likely to trigger mortality events that might cause a shift in species composition. The project focuses on boreal mixedwoods (Romeo Malette Forest, Dog River-Matawin Forest) and Great Lakes St. Lawrence (GLSL) forests in Ontario.

The PSP database structured for tracking the individual tree status was used to calculate mortality rates at plot level in terms of basal area and number of trees lost between successive measurements. This mortality rate database constitutes the main input for evaluating the ability of ALS data to link the structural attributes and size-frequency distributions of canopy gaps to mortality patterns. Currently, various modeling approaches suitable to the nature of the data (continuous proportional values that range between 0 and 1) are under evaluation, for instance, beta regression and zero-inflated models. In a second step, developed models and wall-to-wall forest attributes derived from ALS will be employed to identify areas within EFI where mortality events resulting from non-stand replacing disturbances.

José Riofrío

Postdoctoral Fellow

University of British Columbia

Supervisor: Nicholas Coops

Project Page

New techniques for measurements within stands - Lukas Olson, MSc student, UBC

Using Planetscope to characterize disturbances in Canada's boreal forest - Spencer Shields, MSc student, UBC

Viability of climate-informed landscape-level management strategies - Kirk Johnson, PhD student, UBC

Wood properties as proxies for past climate conditions - Philippe Riel, MSc student, Université Laval


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