RECONFORT, Assessing and anticipating dieback to maintain sustainable, multifunctional forest management

Estimating forest dieback in Centre-Val de Loire

Forest dieback is the result of a progressive loss of vigor in stands, or even entire forest massifs, due to the often complex action of several environmental factors. The worrying acceleration in forest dieback is affecting several species of economic interest, including oaks and Scots pines in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Given the scale of the climate changes forecast, the management issues associated with dieback are extremely important. The first step in managing these crises is to be able to detect them quickly and quantify their intensity and spatial extent.

The Reconfort project will develop cartographic tools to predict stand health and update stand growth models, so that these tools can be used to prevent forest dieback.

Sentinel 2: combination of different spectral bands in RGB (ESA)

Objectives & methodology

This project aims to develop approaches and tools to better assess forest dieback and production. The detection of dieback on various key tree species in the region will be based on the analysis of optical and radar satellite images (Constellation Sentinel 1 and 2) cross-referenced with field observations of the health of tree crowns. The algorithm thus developed will enable rapid detection and fine quantification of dieback throughout the Centre-Val de Loire region. The project will also adapt stand growth models used to define logging frequencies and intensities in order to propose silvicultural itineraries in line with future environmental conditions.

Map of the health status of oak stands in 2020 in the Centre Val de Loire region and neighbouring departments, with healthy stands in green, moderately declining stands in orange and severely declining stands in red.
Map of the health status of oak stands in 2020 in the Centre Val de Loire region and neighbouring departments, with healthy stands in green, moderately declining stands in orange and severely declining stands in red.

Funding

445 k€

Referent & Collaborators

  • Referent

    Vincent-Barbaroux Cécile

    Vincent-Barbaroux Cécile

    University of Orléans - LBLGC