The Integrate+ demonstration sites serve for virtual tree selection exercises as well as show cases for field visits. Main goal is to train and eventually improve decision making capacities related to the integration of biodiversity aspects into forest management. The use of well-designed software (‘I+ software’) and mobile devices allows direct feedback on silvicultural decisions and related ecological and economic effects.
On the basis of transparent data, different management strategies and their consequences can be objectively discussed by forest practitioners, decision makers, scientists, or other interested groups directly on site.
The demonstration site network, established within the Integrate+ project, includes a variety of European forest types displaying different stand characteristics (stand age and structure) and management goals while ensuring the selection being representative for a geographic region.
Find a list and a map with the sites here.
The demo sites are set up as so-called Marteloscopes, which are 1-hectare large, rectangular forest sites where all trees are numbered, mapped and recorded. Depending on the stand the number of trees on a Marteloscope can vary from 300 to 800.
For each tree the following data is collected:
- tree location (stem base map)
- tree species
- forest mensuration data (breast height diameter, tree height and crown base height)
- timber quality, present and future (estimated)
- microhabitats (key habitat elements and structures serving as ecological niches), and structural elements with high future potential for biodiversity
Based on the data, the economic value (in euro) is calculated for each stem based on tree volume, tree assortments and corresponding local timber price lists. Future economic values are estimated by considering the expected future development and growth, applying suitable methods for calculation.
The ecological value (in points) is assessed for each tree. The evaluation depends on the identified microhabitats, taking into account the rarity of a habitat and duration for it to develop.
A document for establishing M-scope sites can be accessed here. It provides a description of parameters and assessment procedures and is regularly updated.
Tree microhabitats are of prime importance for specialized and often endangered forest species of flora and fauna. The recording of microhabitats on Marteloscope sites is therefore crucial.
A comprehensive catalogue of saproxylic and epixylic features including for example cavities, large dead branches, cracks and loose bark, epiphytes, sap runs, or trunk rot characteristics is being developed by an expert panel and will become available as an illustrated handbook by the end of the project.
In the meantime a condensed reference field list for identifying and describing tree microhabitats has been completed. It is thought to assist field teams while setting-up Integrate+ Marteloscopes sites. This list can be accessed here.