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Last week, Yousef Erfanifard from IDEAS NCBR Precision Forestry research team journeyed to Angers, France, to present a paper co-authored with Krzysztof Stereńczak (Precision Forestry team leader) and Maciej Lisiewicz – "High-resolution remote sensing for biodiversity assessment: A case study of tree species in an old growth forest” – at GISTAM – International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management.

‘The Białowieża Forest, a UNESCO world natural heritage site, is an old-growth forest featuring diverse stands of coniferous and broadleaved species and covers almost 62,000 hectares in Poland. With 35 species of trees and shrubs, the forest is an important hub for biodiversity conservation, characterized by its rich ecological values. Therefore, it is an ideal setting for investigating species diversity,’ says Yousef.

‘This study conducted in the Białowieża Forest, aimed to find better ways to understand and manage the biodiversity of tree species within the forest. Using modern methods like airborne laser scanning (ALS) and color infrared (CIR) imagery combined with machine learning algorithms, we compared traditional field measurements with remote sensing data to assess the diversity of trees across different areas of the forest. Overall, our achievements suggest that remote sensing-based modern methods can help us better understand and protect the rich biodiversity of the Białowieża Forest and other old growth forests.’

See sample images of a fragment of the Białowieża Forest obtained from ALS (distinguishes the height of objects; trees in light grey) and CIR (distinguishes tree species) datasets.

Also, there was time to admire Angers’ landmark – the Jean Lurçat and Contemporary Tapestry Museum, housing one of the world’s most important collections of contemporary tapestries, including works by Picasso, Calder and Le Corbusier, in a picturesque medieval vault. Note ‘Space Conquest,’ one of Lurçat’s massive tapestries from his ‘Song of the World’ series.

More about our Precision Forestry research team

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