Modelling of the forest landscape dynamics with help of an advanced decision support system (PFG0064)

Last changed: 14 February 2019

Many students in forestry science work with issues that necessitate thinking about how forests will evolve over time. Since the forest is a slow production process and you rarely have time to wait and see what happens, an important tool can be a decision support system (DSS). By using data on current forest conditions, in combination with models for management actions and ecosystem processes, a DSS can project the future state of the forest. In this course, you will get basic knowledge of how forest landscape dynamics and the provision of ecosystem services can be modeled over time with help of the Heureka system, an advanced decision support system developed at SLU.

Time: 2018-11-19 - 2018-11-30
Where: SLU, Umeå
Contact: Professor Karin Öhman, SLU

The course starts with one week of lectures and teacher-led exercises where you will learn the basics of how the forest landscape dynamics can be modeled over time with help of the Heureka system. Thereafter, the students will complete an assignment on their own that will take approximately one week to finish. The first week of the course is on-campus teaching in Umeå and the second week consist of off campus teaching. The course will cover the following topics: modeling of landscape dynamics, decision support systems, overview of different parts of the Heureka system, simulation of management activities, optimization, multi criteria decision analysis. In the course, you will have the chance to try some of Heureka's methods to simulate various possible management options. For example, you will learn how the amount of habitat can be evaluated given that you handle the forest in a given way. You will also be able to rank different management scenarios by means of multi criteria decision analysis based on the decision maker's preferences.

Heureka is today used by e.g. all large Swedish forest companies and has been used in a number of research projects. It can be used with data from the Swedish National Forest Inventory (NFI) as well as data from forest properties. The foundation of Heureka is projection of the tree cover development. Data on current forest conditions, management actions (regeneration, thinning etc.) and ecosystem processes are used to project the future state of the forest. Projections can be made for a large number of stand variables. Today Heureka explicitly handles tree development for a number of different species, timber and forest fuel production, carbon sequestration, recreation, and habitat for a set of species.