Research Fellows Directory
Dr Jacqueline Rosette
Forests have multiple important roles as a timber resource, as habitat for many species, and for recreation. They are a fundamental part of Earth's climate system because they take up CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store the absorbed carbon in leaves, stems, roots and soils. Many questions remain about the amount of carbon stored by forests and how this is affected by climate change; disturbance from wind or fire damage, pests or diseases; and due to management decisions or deforestation.
For these reasons countries are required to produce reliable data on carbon storage through National Forest Inventories (NFI), but these data are often neither timely nor accurate. Collection of forest data is wrought with difficulties. NFIs rely on sample plot surveys, methods may differ between countries, and surveys are often infrequent due to time and cost. There is therefore a real need to develop consistent and accurate methods for forest assessments.
Satellites observe the entire planet and collect data from forests globally. Using data from satellites or aircraft for forest inventories has a major advantage since data are collected by one instrument and inventories for different places are therefore similar. Moreover, data are collected at frequent intervals and this allows timely updates of forest inventories.
The project uses techniques which assess the structure of forests in order to estimate important forest parameters, as well as observations over many years to identify trends in our forests’ histories e.g. change due to forest health or harvesting. In partnership with Forest Research, the GB Forestry Commission Research Agency, new methods have been developed to estimate, update and improve the accuracy of inventory information held about our forests. These in turn have been used to drive models which provide forecasts of timber production, identify wind risk, and predict fire susceptibility to inform management decisions.