objectiveUsing terrestrial laser scanning for a quantitative assessment of forest structure along a gradient of management intensity
contentThe high structural heterogeneity of primary forests is assumed to positively affect several ecosystem services and function, such as biodiversity, ecosystem resilience or ecosystem adaptability. Therefore, today’s silvicultural practices often try to mimic, or accelerate the formation of old-growth structures in managed forests.
Despite our knowledge on the importance of structures it is still difficult to measure the three-dimensional stand structure in a quantitative manner. For this reason we have little information about the structural differences between primary forests, managed forests and protected forests where management was ceased for several years (e.g. national parks). With the recent advancements in terrestrial laser scanning we now have the means to analyze the relationships between detailed spatial patterns of a forest and ecosystem functions.
In this project we aim at gaining a deeper understanding of forest structure and its modification through management along a gradient of management intensity. We will use 3D point clouds to address scale-issues of structure as well as determine, amongst others, old-growthness, space-filling, and structural complexity.
appropriation period01.04.2017 – 31.03.2020
funded byDr. Erich-Ritter-Stiftung
Persons in chargeMelissa Stiers und Katharina Willim
publicationsWillim K, Stiers M, Annighöfer P, Ehbrecht M, Kabal M, Ammer C, Seidel D (2019): Assessing understory complexity in beech-dominated forests (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Central Europe- from managed to primary forests. Sensors 19 (7): 1684. DOI:10.3390/s19071684

Stiers M, Willim K, Seidel D, Ehbrecht M, Kabal M, Ammer C, Annighöfer P (2018) A quantitative comparison of the structural complexity of managed, lately unmanaged and primary European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests. Forest Ecology and Management 430: 357-365. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.08.039