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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-03-01 - 2024-09-30

In the last decade, the direct consequences of climate change for forests in Austria and Europe have become visible on a large scale. A major problem is the communication of the consequences of climate change and how forest management concepts would have to be adapted. The aim of this project is to link forest management data with forest management concepts and thus to analyze the effects on stand structure, biodiversity, carbon stocks and raw material supply. Specifically, different operationally common management concepts are to be compared.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-04-01 - 2025-03-31

The fuel moisture of the litter in the forest is a critical element for estimating the ignition danger of forest fires. The Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) currently used in Austria delivers sometimes unsatisfactory results with regard to the prediction accuracy of the ignition danger. Within the framework of the IGNITE project, the aim is to improve the accuracy of the prediction of the ignition danger for Austrian conditions.The basis for this are i) in-situ measurements of the fuel moisture in different forest types, ii) ignition experiments of various fuel materials with different moisture contents, iii) the creation of a spatially high-resolution (100x100m²) vegetation map for the estimation of the ignition danger considering tree species, canopy structure and gaps, litter moisture and topography, and iv) the validation of the FWI using existing forest fire data, the empirical data obtained in the experiments and field campaigns and causal machine learning approaches. The final products are a map of the ignition danger for forest fires based on the vegetation and an improved classification of the FWI, which will be made public available via webservices.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-04-01 - 2025-03-31

The topography, the vegetation type as well as the vegetation structure of the forest are important elements for estimating the spread and intensity of forest fires. The Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) currently used in Austria for estimating the fire danger contains purely meteorological input parameters with a resolution of 1x1km, which means that the small-scale effects of vegetation cannot be adequately represented in the description of fire behaviour. Within the scope of the project EMERGE, the basics for an improved estimation of the behaviour of forest fires in Austrian forests are to be developed. In this way, the early warning system for forest fire danger will be expanded to include components of spread potential and fire intensity. The basis for this are i) empirical surveys in selected forest types on combustible biomass and forest structure, ii) area-wide estimations of combustible biomass, fire ladders and gaps in the Austrian forest via remote sensing data (Sentinel-2, Image Matching, LiDAR), iii) fire experiments for in-situ observation and analysis of fire behaviour, and iv) the development of a forest fire simulator for Austrian conditions by adapting existing modeling appraoches. The final products are expected to be a forest fire simulator, maps of the spread potential and fire intensity as well as an improved integrated approach for forest fire danger assessment, which will be made available to the general public via webservices.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations