rePLANT innovates implementing technologies in the forest

29 de March de 2023

  • About 100 people met yesterday some of the results of rePLANT, focused on innovation for the forestry sector and resulting from almost three years of collaborative work of 20 entities;
  • Town councils, forest owners, associations, companies and the academia met the results of the first major project of initiative and operationalization of the CoLAB ForestWISE;
  • The demonstration took place at Mata do Braçal, in Lousã;
  • Multifunctional and precision machinery, more resilient and productive pine species and provenances, mobile applications for measuring wood piles and the incorporation of automation and sensor systems were the innovations highlighted.


Multifunctional and precision machinery
“What if soil preparation work was more efficient, cheaper and with less environmental impact?”
With this goal in mind, The Navigator Company and Fravizel developed a new partial soil mobilization machine, the ARG (Alfaia Riper Grade), which combines several operations simultaneously, improving conditions for plant development. The participants were able to follow in loco the soil preparation work, using this new technology, which allows:
• Greater versatility and solidity in the installation of new plantations and in forest management, due to the integration of digital technologies;
• Possibility of reducing the soil mobilisation area (mobilisation in strips, in a single pass);
• Reduce erosion and conserve organic matter;
• Increase infiltration and retention of water available for the plant.

Species and provenances of Pinus spp species
“Forest producers are looking for species that generate higher revenues.”
This was the starting point of the Instituto Superior de Agronomia and Sonae Arauco, which performed trials in different species and provenances of pine used in improvement programmes in other countries, such as Australia, Portugal, France and Spain, with proven genetic benefits. The participants had the opportunity to get to know, in Mata do Braçal, the work being developed and observe the different plants installed, in these one of the four trials installed all over the country.
Of the various advantages, the following should be highlighted:
• Species and provenances of Pinus spp. that are more productive and resistant to climate change;
• Greater availability of plants for the reinforcement of the forestation activities;
• More resistant and productive plants that will encourage reinvestment in this species, helping to reverse the declining trend and increasing the profitability of forestry producers.

Technological solutions for data collection
“Forest management using technologies that reduce the time and cost of tasks”?
This is the goal of forest owners, forestry associations and companies. Based on this need, CoLAB ForestWISE has been testing innovative smartphone applications to measure wood piles. Experienced by the participants of the action, this technology is useful to calculate the amount of wood transported to forest-based industries, and can be used intuitively by anyone working in this area. Using it, we were able to highlight several benefits, namely:
• Decrease data collection time and associated costs;
• Facilitate access to more users;
• Allow access to real-time data and automatic results reports.

Automation and sensor systems
«Machine which create ideal planting conditions, with less soil impact”?
This is possible, thanks to the incorporation of last generation sensors, such as LiDAR technology, which record the digging depth of the soil, the planting line, and the soil profile, enabling the integration real time-shared information. The data obtained through these sensors is an important step in Forest 4.0, as it is crucial for monitoring and managing future forestry operations, allowing:
• To record the digging depth of the soil;
• Recording the planting line and soil profile;
• Continuous monitoring of the machine performance;
• Automatically adjust the fertilizer dosage to the soil characteristics.
In this demonstration, the participants could see, in real time, the data collected from digging depth of the soil along the planting line, among other data.

Structured around three main areas of action: Forest and Fire Management, Risk Management and Circular Economy and Value Chains, rePLANT has an investment of 5.6 million euros, supported by Compete/Portugal 2020, through the POCI and Lisbon 2020 programmes.

This project is led by The Navigator Company, with technical and scientific coordination by CoLAB ForestWISE, and brings together a range of entities, from leading companies in the sector to non-business R&D&I organisations, to contribute to improving Portuguese forest by implementing integrated forest and fire management strategies.