Phenotyping for precision forestry

4 April 2018

The Phenotyping Platform under development at Scion aims to link information from a number of sources to derive knowledge about the drivers of tree growth, and provide the tools to optimise forest management in support of precision forestry.

Phenotyping relies extensively on the application of remote sensing and image analysis to characterise forest stands and trees. Remotely sensed data are analysed to produce phenotypic measures that embody complex interactions between genetics, environmental influences, and silviculture.

Current research is focussed on the use of airborne laser scanner (ALS) data, but methods to utilise a wider range of sensors and platforms, such as colour and hyperspectral images captured from UAVs and satellites, are also under development.

In the future, the Phenotyping Platform will also integrate developments such as characterising wood properties using the DiscBot, and monitoring seedling responses in nursery experiments.

Teasing apart the interactions of genotype, environment, and silviculture (GxExS) will allow the selection of superior breeds, matching them to sites, and tailoring silvicultural management to maximise production goals.

Traits of interest include, growth, form, disease and wood quality. The current prototype platform includes developments at two contrasting levels of resolution, tree-based and area-based, and is primarily focussed on characterising tree growth.

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Source: GCFF April 2018 Newsletter