Styria, Austria

Downstream Service - Ecological Functions

The service specifications for forest degradation will be based on the needs and requirements defined by LFD-STMK. The investigation and service development, with respect to the impact of forest degradation on selected functional parameters, such as vertical structure, tree height, crown coverage or old forest stands, can be considered as an important task in the development of framework guidelines for forestry management strategies and for a sustainable management of forests. Forestry Management Administration needs detailed, province-level information about the structure and state of the forests. While providing key statistical data on larger regions, conventional means for surveying do not allow the derivation of the spatial (wall to wall) distribution of the various forest function parameters. As a consequence of these findings an operational service focusing on protected forests is foreseen to the above mentioned selected functional parameters. A very powerful approach for the derivation of these parameters is the synergetic use of laserscanner (LIDAR) data providing 3D structural parameters (height, crown closure and vertical structure)  with Core Service products derived within GEOLAND II  (LMSC: land monitoring core service). A methodology will be developed in order to generate an operational downstream service (DSS) for forest degradation. The overall observation area foreseen for the testcase STYRIA is located in the northern part of the province of Styria and covers some 1000 km². The products for the designated area to be delivered include an Ortho-Image-Map (Product 1) and a map of Functional Forest Parameters (Product 2).

Use of GMES Core Data Sets (HR Forest Layers and Core Image Data)

Core products “EL-04a forest area” and “EL-04b forest type” are needed to extract the forest areas of interest. The forest area is used to create a forest mask layer. The forest type is essential for the stratification of LIDAR data in order to improve the differentiation of broadleaf versus coniferous. This task has to be integrated into the processing chain and can be considered as a pre-processing step. The use of Core product “EL-05 forest crown cover density” is to be considered as a starting layer in order to improve its contents with the integration of LIDAR data. Finally an “improved forest density layer” is produced which shall fulfil the user requirements.

Envisaged Service Area

The overall observation area foreseen for the Austrian region covers a central part of Austria, mainly northern part of the province of Styria with approximately 10.000 km². Out of this frame a specified part will be used for the service demonstration, which will be in the order of 5.000 km². For Phase 1 a small testbed is selected which is displayed in the figure below.

Testcase Styria (overall testcase and testbed for Phase 1)

Service Partners

Umweltbundesamt            Joanneum Research               Styrian Forestry Board