View More View Less
  • 1 L. Eötvös University, Pázmány P. sétány 1/c H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
  • | 2 MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Alkotmány u. 2–4, H-2163 Vácrátót, Hungary
  • | 3 Hintermann und Weber AG, Austrasse 2a, 4153 Reinach, Switzerland
  • | 4 Tájinformatika GP, Vác, Hungary
Open access

A new forest state assessment methodology to complement existing conservation and forestry data has been developed. The aim is to provide tools for strategic planning including spatial distribution of conservation priorities. The method is point-based using a dense systematic sampling grid and provides more detailed information than vegetation maps or forest subcompartment descriptions, but requires less effort than forest inventories. Indicators include canopy composition and structure, deadwood, herbs, microhabitats, disturbances, shrubs and regeneration. The results can inform managers about the structural and compositional diversity of forest stands in the form of thematic maps and can provide the basis for analysis of habitat suitability for forest-dwelling organisms. A smartphone application has been developed to enable electronic data collection. PostGIS and Python scripts were used in the data flow. In this paper, we outline the development of the assessment protocol, and present the sampling design and the variables recorded. The main advantages of the survey methodology are also shown by case-studies based on data collected during the first field season in 2014. The protocol has been designed for low mountain forests in Hungary, but it can be modified to fit other forest types.

Supplementary Materials