Image

Improving descriptions of plantations and small woodlots

2 July 2020

Indufor, Scion and the School of Forestry, University of Canterbury in New Zealand are currently developing new methods to improve regional descriptions of plantations and small woodlots. These methods will use a range of freely available datasets that include LiDAR and satellite imagery. Such media can be used to map plantation areas accurately and to provide updated estimates of resource age class and volume.

The collaboration will construct a spatial framework, showing the location and extent of forest plantations and woodlots. To this will be added resource datasets that describe a range of forest attributes. Until now, this work has relied on manual delineation ( Manley, Morgenroth, & Visser, 2017; Manley, Morgenroth, & Xu, 2020) or semi-automated approaches ( Xu, Manley, & Morgenroth, 2019; Xu, Morgenroth, & Manley, 2017).

A defining feature of the new initiative will be the capacity to show the dynamic characteristics of the forests. Rather than confining the resource description to some past date, the system will show the results of ongoing growth. This can then be extended to predicting future supply. In providing this capability, LiDAR-based methods will figure prominently.

Pete Watt, Head of Indufor’s resource monitoring team, notes that the initiative is timely given the government’s recently announced intention to fund further LiDAR capture. This will increase the coverage to 80% of New Zealand’s forested area. As proof of concept, a prototype has been developed and run across a large portion of the Wairarapa region.

The algorithms applied distinguish the woodlots from surrounding landcover and generate clean boundaries. Once forest boundaries have been mapped, metrics calculated from the LiDAR (LINZ 2013) are used to create volume and age class predictions, like in research previously conducted in the Wairarapa. In this example, the volume estimate, by stand is derived using the equation described in Watt & Watt (2013). By modifying the regional growth models described in Garcia (1999), stand age may be estimated as a function of the LiDAR-derived canopy metrics. Further developments will refine the prediction processes used in estimating ongoing growth and capturing change using satellite imagery. While LiDAR provides the most authoritative start points for such estimation, ongoing verification and calibration of the growth routines is more economically provided by photogrammetric point clouds.

Click here for full story (Indufor)

Read More
Image

Mapping Gisborne’s worst eroding land

Gisborne land adaptation shifts have received positive feedback from both the Eastland Wood Council and an environmental group. The region’s farmers and forestry companies might end up with designated land they can’t operate on under new council plans. Council chief ...
Read more
Image

Canadian developed Hydrogen-diesel system secured

HVMS, a leading provider in the decarbonisation of transportation, has announced the establishment of its partnership with Canadian company Diesel Tech Industries, to establish installation facilities for the Guardian Hydrogen Diesel System. This initiative marks a significant step towards advancing sustainable ...
Read more
Image

Australian timber framing industry gets a boost

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is set to spearhead an initiative highlighting the advantages of timber framing in construction, promising a significant boost to its promotion efforts. First established in the Australian Forest Products Association’s Softwood Manufacturing Chamber, and funded by ...
Read more
Image

Who’s transforming our economy with renewable resources?

The opportunities for converting forestry fibre to renewable resources to replace fossil fuel based products are growing every year. The adoption of bioenergy and related technologies / products in New Zealand and internationally, sourced from forestry and wood products companies ...
Read more
Image

New trade agreement a boost for NZ wood processors

Increased export opportunities through the removal of tariffs for 41 wood products included within the ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’ is welcomed by New Zealand’s wood processing and manufacturing industry. ‘Under brand New Zealand we have a leading story to ...
Read more
Image

Södra to become the largest producer of kraft lignin in the world

As a step in the strategy of getting more out of every tree, Södra is now establishing a new business to become a world leader in the production of kraft lignin. Södra’s production facility will be the first commercial facility ...
Read more
Image

NZ National Exotic Forest Description survey – data needed

On 1 April 2024, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sent out the 2024 National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) survey. The survey is critical for informing wood availability forecasts, which underpin infrastructure and wood processing investment decisions, as well as contributing to a ...
Read more
Image

Unlimited potential of virtual reality for forest thinning

How a virtual reality (VR) and gaming engine could add another tool to the forestry training kit. A future where new foresters are trained to thin trees from the safety of a virtual reality forest before more advanced real-world training could be ...
Read more
Image

Growing the potential of NZ’s forestry sector in partnership

Forestry Minister, Todd McClay, has announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. ...
Read more