FOSPREF-Wind: A portable FOSS platform and modelling chain to aid in wind risk forest management under a changing climate

09:00 Thursday 30 May


Room S13


Tom Locatelli (United Kingdom) 1; Georgios Xenakis (United Kingdom) 1

1 - Forest Research

Increasing levels of forest wind damage have been observed in the past 15 years in previously relatively unaffected areas of Europe. The seasonality of damaging events appears to be also changing, with strong summer storms becoming more common. These issues indicate that statistical models of wind damage are likely to fail under a changing climate. Using process-based models allows for portability to different locations and for uncertain climatic conditions. The main aim of the FOSPREF-Wind project is to pool together European expertise in forest wind damage and growth modelling, climate change adaptation, forest management and GIS, to develop a FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) platform for climate-ready wind risk forest management. With the use of case-study pine forests in Scotland, the Basque Country, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, and Sweden, the FOSS modelling platform is developed and tested.

In this talk we discuss the requirements of such a platform, demonstrate the potential and the applicability of the modelling chain within QGIS, and discuss the portability of our approach to different geographical areas, current and projected climatic conditions and other risks to forest.

The modelling chain is based on the development of the ForestGALES wind risk model and 3-PG growth model as R libraries. These models are notable examples of process-based models, a characteristic which allows them to be portable under different forest conditions, space and time. Using downscaled European Commission soil maps, forest stand data, together with current local climatic data and downscaled projected climatic data (until the year 2100), the modelling chain is used to model stand growth and risk of wind damage throughout multiple rotations. The usability of the modelling chain is largely increased by the creation of automated algorithms within QGIS’ Toolbox, which have the same appearance as common QGIS commands (e.g. GRASS, SAGA, etc.) and represent the user interface of our FOSS platform.

Using a Pinus sylvestris L. example forest in the central part of Scotland, we demonstrate our approach in applications of forest management to reduce wind damage risk under a climate change adaptation framework. By providing a FOSS platform for our modelling chain that is free of cost, simple to use, highly portable and easily expandable to incorporate other types of risk and different management objectives, we contribute to the development of intuitive and more integrated forest management practices across European countries.