Development of Consumer Drone based Methods to Support Monitoring by Citizen Science
The Hainich National Park in Germany forms the largest contiguous deciduous forest area in the country. Its semi-natural forests form an important ecosystem, which is why the park was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. However, climate change is having a devastating impact on the health of the forests. The increasing drought is causing more tree deaths throughout Germany. In the Hainich, too, a widespread occurrence of dead tree crowns, weak foliage and stunted leaf formation can be observed for several years. The drought years 2018 and 2019 in particular have accelerated this development.
The Hainich project therefore aims to observe the changes in vegetation in the national park over a period of years using consumer drone-based methods and to create suitable products for analysing forest development. This includes, among other things, calculating the proportion of deadwood, monitoring gaps between trees and observing the development of tree crowns (drought stress, etc.). In the context of Citizen Science activities, citizens should also be able to participate in the generation of data in order to map temporal changes. The methods are transferable to other forest areas and the data collection can be supported in the future by hobby drone pilots in all parts of the world.
Aims of the research project:
Project runtime: 2020 - 2025
Funder: Nationalpark Hainich
Spokeperson: apl. Prof. Dr. habil. Christian Thiel