Technical notes

Low cost poplar inventory in the plain of Piemonte (Italy)


Abstract


The forest inventory is an important tool to know the current and to estimate the future wood availability for industry. Generally it request high economic and time costs if based on direct sampling on the areas or on classification of aerial photo or satellite images.  The paper shows a methodology based on open source software (QGIS®) and images free available on the web (trough ‘Google EarthTM’ software) to carry out a forest inventory particularly regarding poplar stands surface. This cultivation in Italy is characterized by short rotation, about ten years, and the wood is a row material very important for the industry, particularly for plywood. The results of an experimental survey located in the plain of Piemonte Region (north-west Italy) are presented in order to evaluate the timing of completion and the efficiency of the methodology. Data of land cover, divided by poplars, other forest plantations, and natural forests are showed and compared with old inventories, carried out with traditional methods. The evidence of reduction of costs in term of man involved, time, and materials is counterbalanced by some problems due to different age of the web images; however, this alternative methodology, applied by an experienced operator can ensure a good level of precision for the purposes required, with very low costs.


Keywords

Forest inventory; Poplar; Open source; QGIS®; Google EarthTM

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12899/asr-1494

References


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Copyright (c) 2018 Pier Mario Chiarabaglio, Sara Bergante, Michele Scirè, Domenico Coaloa

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