A. 3 Database of forest areas

Project manager: Zoltán Somogyi (FRI)

 

Research plan

 

Analysis of field:

 

One of the most important information sources of domestic forestry and forestry research is the Forest Resource Database (hereafter referred to as Database). This database has been built according to the forest laws (http://www.vm.gov.hu/download.php?ctag=download&docID=4550) for several decades by hundreds of professionals responsible for sustainable silviculture.

 

The Database is, as a matter of fact, equivalent to a continuous forest inventory, as the country’s forests are assessed and actualized every 5-15 years (depending on the tree species and production sites), and they get into the database after the proper verifications.

 

Although the Database contains a lot of data (among which there are pieces of map information related to the spatiality of forest characteristics), these are used primarily in practical forestry. Because of this, in some cases (e.g. the forest appraisal and logging characteristics of the stand structure) the forest characteristics are assessed and appraised in details while in other cases (e.g. certain ecological characteristics) in fewer details or in a unique way (e.g. site condition variants). The accuracy of the measured data aims to satisfy the practical needs (taking into consideration the expenses of the measurements). However, the Database has more strong points that compensate these. One of them is that it covers almost every forest compartments, which means the data of about 400 thousand (on the average 5 acres-sized) forest compartments throughout the country. Its other strong point is that as a result of repeated appraisals – to a varying extent in every forest compartment – the temporal alternation of the characteristics of forest compartments can be tracked. This means that the data in the database mean very useful, spatial (thus manageable with geographical information systems) information in case of large scale examinations. These pieces of information combined with tentative spatial data analysed in details, which can be qualified as case-studies and with remote sensed (based on space and aerial photography) data can answer numerous research questions.

 

The fact that the forest inventory data are used not only for practical purposes is proved by those studies that are specifically based on forest inventory data of this kind. The subject of these studies is very diverse. As an Example we can mention Spiecker et al.’s (1996) work, in which they reported the increasing growth of European forests; or Somogyi’s (2008a) analysis on the change in the growth of domestic forests; the state of European forests is analysed in details by the Forest Europe (2011) (similar analyses on e.g. the tree stock, increment and carbon fixation of forests was conducted by Somogyi-Zamolodcsikov, 2007); and last but not least we highlight that the greenhouse gases inventory of forests is based on the forest inventories in almost every country in Europe (see the National Inventory Reports for the individual countries, UN, 2012).

 

Justification, the problem supporting the necessity of research:

 

The Database helps the solution of other tasks of the research by making such data available to researchers which cannot be obtained by other means because of the available resources and the time-frame of the project (and also because the measurements of the past cannot be repeated now). The main data of the Database used in the research: production site data (related to climate, soil productivity and excess water effect); tree species and age structure; stand structure data; data concerning tree cultivation and tree productivity. From these data with certain methods (e.g. Somogy, 2008b) further data, e.g. the stock of coal and carbon fixation of forests can be derived. To answer one of the leading questions of the project, that is, how will climate change affect the main characteristics of the forests, the Database is certainly needed, as with the current methods we can make estimations for the future only from the historical (so called bioassay) data.

 

Aim of research:

 

The direct aim of the research is the creation of a database which fits into a larger database used for the establishment for decisions concerning land and landscape use. In the course of the research we aim to filter the most important pieces from the available information for the sake of the database to contain data usable for latter analyses.

 

Introduction of activity:

 

The part of the database taken from the Forest Resource Database is only a limited part of the Database. In the course of the shaping of the database we have to consider which data are public in the current form of the Database and from among these which are needed from the point of view of the project’s goals; furthermore, which are available for every forest compartment (as the spatial units of the database). In building the database it is important to analyse to what extent are the pieces of information available for the forestry important.

 

The forestry database consists of two parts; the first is a map-based database, the second is a database that describes the state of forest compartments and contains verbal and numerical information, and which, in some cases, contain information related to the past of the forest compartments. We take pieces of information from both databases into the project’s database.

 

Timing:

 

The task has to be performed in the first half-year of the project in order for the other participants of the project to be able to use the data added to the database properly. The work requires the configuration of the entire database plan, as it is only possible to plan how it is the most practical to form the database connected to the subtask afterwards. In the course of the data transmission we define the group of data that are to be included in the project’s database first, then we define the data format, and eventually, we create the database. As a finishing step we verify the database.

 

Data to be used, partners:

 

The data connected to the subtask will be procured from the Forestry Board of the Government Office of Zala County (contact person: director Attila Jagicza, 38. Bíró M. st., Zalaegerszeg, H-8900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We will verify the propriety of the data transmission with them and with the partners of the project working on the database.