PUBLICATION on Drone perspectives in casual forest management

The perspective of unmanned aerial systems in forest management: Do we really need such details?

Jan Komárek

Forest ecosystems provide countless ecosystem services potentially mitigating the ongoing climate change; those services, however, suffer not only from the change of climate but also from a rising human pressure. Understanding of forest ecosystem complexity and consistent monitoring of ongoing changes can be a key to climate change mitigation. Remote sensing can capture data at various scales and times and can complement and enhance traditional forest field surveys. Low-altitude aerial surveys conducted with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) may bridge the gap between remote imaging and field surveys, especially at local scales. The current professional UAS sensors offer astounding detail and accuracy but are associated with high costs. For everyday forest practice, information on forest structure and health status is needed. Such information can, however, also be captured by consumer-grade UAS and casual cameras at reasonable costs with sufficient accuracy, which makes the high costs associated with better detail unjustifiable for the common forest practice.

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