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Development of prognostic fundamentals for forest protection in Slovenia


Project status:  completed
Project Leader: dr. Nikica Ogris
Department: Department of Forest Protection
Project group:
Partners:

The Reporting, Prognostic and Diagnostic Service for Forests (PDP) was established at the Slovenian Forestry Institute by legislation on forest protection. The prognostic part of the PDP service has never come into practice. The main reason for this is the absence of a proper information system, i.e. reliable information system that offers current and archive data is the basis for every prognostic method. Therefore, we proposed the development of prognostic fundamentals for forest protection in Slovenia. The project had three working packages: standard operating procedures for developing prognostic models in forest protection (WP1), methods for monitoring biotic and abiotic factors that are or can become harmful to forests, emphasising key data that are important for performing quality prognoses (WP2), an information system that would be the basis for prognosis of harmful phenomena for forest (WP3).

We developed the following standard operating procedures for developing prognostic models in forest protection (WP1): a general procedure to develop a model, a procedure for the selection of the model type according to purpose of the model, procedures for the development of the various model types, a procedure for choosing the right model complexity, a procedure for the selection of the variables in the model and the determination of the data quality, a procedure to determine model sensitivity, procedures for the calibration of the model, and procedures for the validation of the model.

We critically reviewed the current methods for the monitoring of harmful biotic and abiotic factors for forests. During the review process, the focus has been on key data that are important for quality prognoses. WP2 included: a description of general methods and directives for monitoring of harmful biotic and abiotic factors for forests, a description of the methods for assessment of forest health, a standard operating procedure for the development of the monitoring method for specific harmful organisms, with the purpose of data collection for short-term prognosis, and a description of the methods for monitoring of the most important harmful biotic and abiotic factors for forests.

The information system (WP3) operates on an electronic basis; therefore, we named it “E-forest Protection” (EVG), which is a tool for making reports on the all organisational levels of the Slovenian Forestry Service (ZGS), data analysis, education, communication with forest protection experts, and determination of the causes for tree injuries. EVG is a central information warehouse for forest protection in Slovenia. We have taken into consideration following principles and directives in the system development: the system must be a useful tool at the every level of ZGS, easy to use and user friendly; there are to be no duplicate data inputs; it enables traceability and control of records; it is a source of knowledge and enables prognoses of good quality.

We published a scientific monograph, including the results of this project. Link to PDF.

The results of the project will have significant and long-term impact on the development of forest protection in Slovenia. A data warehouse for forest protection is established, as well as the basis for performing prognoses in forest protection. This will be the basis for modelling and predicting harmful biotic and abiotic factors in the forests of Slovenia.
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