AI will help conserve and manage forests

Climate change is affecting forests around the world. Germany is currently experiencing the largest forest extinction since

1980s. In Baden-Württemberg, 43% of all forest areas are damaged. It should be borne in mind that many factors have to be taken into account when managing forests.

“Mixed forests with hornbeam, maple or bird cherryhandle new conditions much better than spruce forests, but less profitable. In addition, soil properties play an important role in tree planting, explains Dr. Joachim Fahlmann from the KIT climate office in South Germany. "Forest management must be responsive and carefully balance the various aspects."

EDI GmbH, South German ClimateManagement and the Institute of Geography and Geoecology of KIT are developing a cloud-based decision support system based on AI. The goal is to help foresters make the best decisions based on data. The interdisciplinary EDE 4.0 project works closely with partners in the forestry sector to support sustainable forestry.

The help system is based on a software solutionEDI GmbH. The EDI hive IoT framework was originally designed for machine learning in aerospace and mechanical engineering. “The result of our development work will be a mobile application that can be managed intuitively. AI works to support local foresters in deciding where and when to plant new trees. Moreover, the system will predict how successful planting a tree will be in a specific location, ”explains Dr. Thomas Freudenmann, one of the founders of EDI GmbH.

So that the system can provide relevantresults, she must first recognize relationships and patterns. For this, many data from different areas are combined. Among them are data on the medium-term climate development provided by the German Meteorological Service and the Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research KIT. In addition, the assistance system will take into account the local knowledge and experience of foresters.

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Hornbeam is a genus of relatively small deciduous trees from the Birch family.

EDI GmbH is a subsidiary of KIT, specializing in intelligent industrial software.

EDE 4.0 - German abbreviation for Extended Dynamic Planning of Logging

Forestry is an area of ​​economic activity,engaged in the cultivation, protection and use of forest resources; as well as a scientific discipline that studies methods of growing, improving and increasing the productivity of forests.