Proactive forest conservation planning requires spatially accurate information about the potential distribution of tree species. The most cost-efficient way to obtain this information is habitat suitability modelling i.e. predicting the potential distribution of biota as a function of environmental factors. Here we used the bootstrap aggregating machine learning ensemble classifier Random Forest (RF) to derive a 1 km resolution European forest formation suitability map. The statistical model use as inputs more than 6000 field data forest inventory plots and a large set of environmental variables. The field data plots were classified into different forest formations using the Forest Category classification scheme of the European Environmental Agency. The ten most dominant forest categories excluding plantations were chosen for the analysis. Model results have an overall accuracy of 76%. Between categories scores were unbalanced and Mesophitic deciduous forests were found to be the least correctly classified forest category. The model's variable ranking scores are used to discuss relationship between forest category / environmental factors, and to gain insight into the model's limits and strengths for map applicability

Modelling and mapping the suitability of European forest formations at 1km resolution

Casalegno, Stefano;
2011

Abstract

Proactive forest conservation planning requires spatially accurate information about the potential distribution of tree species. The most cost-efficient way to obtain this information is habitat suitability modelling i.e. predicting the potential distribution of biota as a function of environmental factors. Here we used the bootstrap aggregating machine learning ensemble classifier Random Forest (RF) to derive a 1 km resolution European forest formation suitability map. The statistical model use as inputs more than 6000 field data forest inventory plots and a large set of environmental variables. The field data plots were classified into different forest formations using the Forest Category classification scheme of the European Environmental Agency. The ten most dominant forest categories excluding plantations were chosen for the analysis. Model results have an overall accuracy of 76%. Between categories scores were unbalanced and Mesophitic deciduous forests were found to be the least correctly classified forest category. The model's variable ranking scores are used to discuss relationship between forest category / environmental factors, and to gain insight into the model's limits and strengths for map applicability
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11582/23089
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