ForestPaths presents latest advancements in forest disturbance maps in a cross-project workshop in Potsdam

29 March 2024

Several projects, ForestPaths, PathFinder, ForestNavigator, and FORWARDS, recently convened in March 2024 in Potsdam for a cross-project workshop to discuss their work on Earth Observation-based forest monitoring systems. European Forest Institute, Technical University of Munich (TUM), VITO Remote Sensing and Lund University were among the ForestPaths partners who contributed to fostering collaboration and cultivating synergies among the projects.

During the meeting, Cornelius Senf from TUM, provided a broad update to the other projects regarding the latest advancements in forest disturbance mapping achieved as part of ForestPaths' main results. Previously, the European Forest Disturbance Atlas covered the period from 1985 to 2021, which has now been extended to include data up to the year 2023. Notably, this extension is accompanied by a novel approach that enables the detection of multiple disturbance events per series and the development of a cause-attribution workflow. These high-resolution maps, which are fully operational and open-source for annual updates, offer a significant enhancement in understanding forest dynamics. Some of the updates that Cornelius discussed in front of the participants are regarding the three key visual components for deciphering disturbance maps: the year of the most recent disturbance event, the frequency of disturbances within the time series, and the attribution of disturbance agents. If you are interested in learning more about the maps, you can read our latest announcement

Alongside Cornelius’ update on forest disturbance maps, Wanda De Keersmaecker presented VITO’s work on the mapping of European forest structure and composition. These maps utilise all available satellite imagery from the Landsat and Sentinel 1 and 2 archives, alongside advanced modelling techniques to estimate canopy height, canopy cover, foliage height diversity (FHD), and leading species at the genus level. These new wall-to-wall maps provide information on forest structure and composition at 10 m resolution, as explained in Wanda’s blog post

Project partners of ForestPaths, ForestNavigator, PathFinder and FORWARDS convening to strengthen collaborative efforts regarding the development and implementation of Earth Observation-based forest monitoring systems.