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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-02-01 - 2020-06-30

The organization and execution of timber harvesting in steep terrain is a complex task. When working with cable yarder, a special focus should be given on a careful operation so that damages on residual stands can be avoided as much as possible. Damage on remaining trees is a good indicator for the stability and vitality of a stands, which in turn is an important criteria for the sustainable management of forests. The aim of the study is the adaptation of a model for the forecasting of harvesting damages and the quality assessment of timber harvesting operations.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-12-01 - 2020-10-31

Growing calamities in Austrian forests lead to temporary peaks in available round wood on the market, which directly cause bottlenecks in terms of transportation and storage capacities from the forest to the mill. Decline in prices and potential economic losses in the following years reinforce searching for possible solutions to counteract this tight situation. An alternative for processing bark beetle affected timber could be debarking in fully mechanized harvesting operations using special constructed and adapted harvesting heads. Debarking is an extra process step at the skid road in the stand. The goal of this interdisciplinary project is to evaluate in detail the potential of debarking in fully mechanized harvesting operations in terms of forest engineering and forest protection including its effect on downstream processes along the supply chain.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-05-01 - 2019-10-31

A life-cycle-assessment for timber supply from the forest to the plant is the goal of the project. A special focus is on the evaluation of new technologies. The most important environmental impacts (e.g. climate change, acidification, eutrophication) should be analysed for the supply of 1 m³ timber (saw logs, industrial wood, energy wood) for selected case study regions. The performance of existing and new technologies (hybrid propulsion, electric vehicles, rechargeable batteries, transport optimization etc.) will be compared. The environmental impacts will be analysed for different harvesting systems (from motor-manual to fully mechanized) and regions (coniferous and deciduous forest, flat and steep terrain). Processes with a high environmental impact and therefore a lot of room for improvement will be identified. Based on this, individual solutions can be derived for every model forest enterprise. The results of the study should be used by the forest lobby (e.g. chamber of agriculture) to inform the public about environmentally friendly supply of wood products. The transfer of knowledge should also be executed by BOKU and by forest training centers.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations