Over the last few months, the entities from rePLANt have had the opportunity to show what is being done and the emerging results. Testing forest inventory technologies is one of the activities concerned which was developed by CoLAB ForestWISE and the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD).
There is increasing interest in the development and use of forest inventory applications for smartphones, as they allow a high simplification and automation of the work.
ForestWISE and UTAD tested three forest inventory applications used in other countries, in order to analyse the suitability and benefits of using these solutions in eucalyptus and maritime pine from in Portugal. The tests were performed in the field and the team kept in touch with the app suppliers, in order to adjust the technology to our forest reality. The applications tested were KATAM, ARBOREAL and TRESTIMA, in which was collected information on several plots according to various types of forest stands. The data collected is being analysed and compared with the conventional forest inventory process.
First conclusions show that measurement by the traditional forest inventory process is more time consuming and usually involves more human resources. The accuracy of the diameter data collected with these apps is high, assuming that these applications are a step towards the forest 4.0 concept, as they are easily accessible, allowing any user to perform this work, if they follow the necessary requirements. The main stakeholders will be forest owners, forestry technicians from organizations and companies who manage forest areas and need this type of information in a prompt way for adequate planning, being these applications an excellent method to complement the traditional forest inventory.