Improving Forest Management Planning by Means of Dynamic Treatment Units Based on Spatial Optimization

Adrián Pascual Arranz was awarded a MMFN grant in 2014. He travelled to the School of Forest Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu to further a study based on the Urbion Model Forest, as part of his PhD “Improving forest management planning by means of dynamic treatment units based on spatial optimization”.

Here Adrian Pascual Arranz describes his visit:
ADrian1250.png : 143.271484375KbThe aim of this research is to apply dynamic treatment units (DTU) to a mixed forest area by using pixels (from a LiDAR inventory) as calculation units and to compare obtained results with those based on current management units.

During the visit to Finland, a number of study objectives were successfully achieved, including the pixel data analysis of forest LiDAR inventory and data preparation for comparison between the defined sub-stand variables based on LiDAR pixel plot and the external data provided by local managers.

Time was also spent on how to move from stand attributes (e.g., N, G) to diameter distributions and on developing models for predicting diameter distributions from stand attributes (N,G).

ADrian2250.png : 44.4970703125KbFinally, analysis of the preliminary results of the application of DTUs in the study area was performed.

MONTE Software, developed by main supervisor Doctor Timo Pukkala, was used for aggregation and spatial optimization analysis.

ADrian3250.png : 74.064453125KbMONTE uses a utility function to describe forest management goals. Spatial aggregation is achieved through maximising the length of the borders of pixels with the same attributes (cut or non-cut, thinning or final felling, regeneration or clear-felling) and minimising the spatial distance between management units (preliminary results in the figures).

This grant has made it possible for me to fulfil my expectations in the short time I was in Joensuu. In my opinion, the study is well defined, but not finished yet. I also had the opportunity to identify new studies in order to continue working in the field of DTUs.

I would like to thank Doctor Timo Pukkala and Doctor Sergio de Miguel for the attention I received and for sharing their knowledge and experience with me. 

I would also like to acknowledge EFIMED, CESEFOR and MMFN. I hope this work serves to demonstrate that this area of research can be used as a tool for sustainable forest management and planning in the Mediterranean region.

Photos and images: Adrián Pascual Arranz

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