In July 2020 Nature printed some stunning outcomes exhibiting an abrupt enhance in harvested forest space in Europe, particularly within the Nordic nations. A brand new examine offers empirical insights into the place the Nature-study went fallacious.
“Unfortunately, this mistake may already have had unintended consequences for European forest policy”, says David Ellison, forest coverage knowledgeable on the University of Bern.
The Nature article (Ceccherini G, et al. 2020. Abrupt enhance in harvested forest space over Europe after 2015) claims that harvested forest space and timber quantity quickly elevated in Europe after 2015. The article took main components of the European forest science group without warning. After the reactions from the scientific group, the Nature article authors markedly decreased their harvest space estimates. A newly printed scientific article inAnnals of Forest Sciencereveals why the harvested space estimates printed in Nature had been fallacious and stay faulty even after the correction.
Most European nations present official statistics on harvest. These statistics are often primarily based on manufacturing statistics collected from the customers of timber and are sometimes verified by different means. The official statistics present a reasonable enhance in harvest in Finland and no change in Sweden throughout the interval analyzed within the Nature article.
An internationally-based analysis group together with researchers from Norway, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland has now scrutinized these claims by evaluating satellite tv for pc image-based forest maps with everlasting and manually-gathered discipline pattern plot information from the Finnish and Swedish National Forest Inventories (NFI’s). The outcomes, printed within theAnnals of Forest Science, verify that the official statistics are dependable, whereas the leads to the Nature article merely can’t be correct.
Why did the Nature article fail in estimating timber harvests?
“The abrupt detected increase in harvest was merely an artifact, because the method used to identify harvest has improved over time”, says Johannes Breidenbach, lead writer and researcher at NIBIO. This is demonstrated by evaluating greater than 120,000 discipline reference observations with outcomes from the satellite-based map employed by the Nature article authors. “We found that the map’s ability to detect harvested area increased after 2015, not harvest activity itself.”
The Nature article is an instance of analysis wherein the scientists have failed to make use of acceptable methodologies and have insufficiently reviewed the prevailing printed analysis on the usage of satellite tv for pc photographs for monitoring forest harvest change.
“Science, however, is self-correcting and the activity of several research groups in Europe has made it possible to get closer to an accurate assessment”, says Kari Korhonen, head of the Finnish NFI at LUKE.
Can we depend on distant sensing?
“Yes we can, but the findings in the Breidenbach et al. article pinpoints important issues regarding the most appropriate methodologies for monitoring European forests when applying remote sensing data”, says Jonas Fridman, head of the Swedish NFI on the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).