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PROTEST project: multidisciplinary methodology for territorial forest analysis

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Woody biomass mobilization is of upmost importance for the development of rural territories and bioeconomy. French mountain forests are characterized by a high spatial heterogeneity and ownership fragmentation. The identification of biomass sources thus requires high-resolution mapping of forest characteristics and accessibility conditions. To sustain the ecosystem services provided by forests, it also is necessary to assess the long-term impacts of mobilization while taking into account the local and global socio-economic context. The objective of project PROTEST was to combine tools from different disciplines into a method for the territorial analysis of forest resource. The study area was the Geopark Massif des Bauges (France) with 50000 ha of forests. The first task was the high resolution mapping of forests. Airborne LiDAR and field plots were used to provide maps of basal area, mean diameter and conifer proportion at 25 m resolution. Forest accessibility was mapped with a GIS model from topography and a road network database. In the second task a territorial prospective work was implemented to define five forest management scenarios that combine forest, environmental and societal determinants. A typology of forest parcels was built based on ownership and species composition. Each scenario was translated into a distribution of parcel types among four silvicultural systems (coppice, even-aged with thining, uneven-aged and no management). In the third task, these silvicultural systems are parametrized into the forest evolution model SALEM (Aussenac et al. 2021), in order to simulate the 30-years evolution of the initial forest mosaic (parcels of 3 ha) for each scenario. In the last step, simulation outputs are connected to the carbon accounting tool CAT (Pichancourt etl al. 2018) to compare carbon fluxes between scenarios. Linker functions are applied to assess ecosystem services from forest stands characteristics. The integration of components from different scientific fields into a spatialized prospective approach yielded added value for the design and implementation of a territorial forest policy. High resolution forest maps ensured that stakeholders shared the same vision of the current territory. The forest simulation of different scenarios enabled them to discuss about actual processes, envision the potential landscapes and compare them with figures of carbon fluxes and maps of ecosystem services. In the Bauges Geopark case study, it turns out that the potential to increase biomass mobilization is limited due to required investments in forest roads. Besides, increased mobilization would reduce short-term carbon sink. The global approach proved useful as decision support system for stakeholders and policy makers, even tough each task relies on simplifying hypotheses or encompasses errors, and connections between tasks are not straightforward. Among others, the contribution of remote sensing could be improved, e.g. by refining the area-based workflow to output forest parameters which better match the requirements of forest simulation models. Automated analysis of historical images could also be a way to better understand the spatial pattern of forest management and underlying processes.
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hal-03787988 , version 1 (26-09-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03787988 , version 1


Jean-Matthieu Monnet, Raphaël Aussenac, Sylvie Durrieu, Catherine Riond, Arnaud Sergent, et al.. PROTEST project: multidisciplinary methodology for territorial forest analysis. ForestSAT, Aug 2022, Berlin, Germany. ⟨hal-03787988⟩
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