Water & Forest – Management of Water Resources by Forest Cultivation Practices and Usage of Satellite Remote Sensing Imagery

Publication from Digital

Granica K., Eckhard Senitza, Eduard Hochbichle, Bellos Panagiotis, Schardt M., Clemens Zuba, Günther Flaschberger

Wiener Wasser Werke, MA 31, All About Karst \& Water; Decision Making in a Sensitive Environment, 09.-11.10.2006, Vienna City Hall; International Conference Vienna October 2006 , 2006


“Water and Forest” is a bi-national INTERREG III A project between Austria and Slovenia aiming to maintain and manage the origin of water reservoirs, i.e. mainly in forested areas. Within the area of the “Karawanken” mountains, which are a cross-border region in the southern karstic zone of the Alps, an interdisciplinary approach will be persecuted covering the integration of silvicultural analysis, the classification of main forest parameters by remote sensing imagery and an analysis within Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

 One focus is put on the documentation of the actual forest situation on a number of representative research plots to deduce rules for forest management. For the optimisation of the functionality of forest it is not only necessary to conserve the actual forest area, but also to improve its condition. Furthermore, it is foreseen to define optimum silvicultural forest conditions with respect to protection categories and potential natural forest communities. The remote sensing approach encompasses the classification of SPOT4 satellite imagery supported by aerial photography. The results of the classification will show the actual current situation of forest area in the following categories: tree species distribution, crown coverage and age classes.

 In a consecutive phase it is planned to elaborate a rule-based system for the integration of the remote sensing based classification results with other ancillary data.
 Finally, the actual inventory of forest will be compared with the defined target situation derived from silvicultural assessment to get a rating on following key questions: where are the main potentials in forest and what are the necessary countermeasures in quantitative terms?