17 Nov 2022

JuWaPfl – IT-based models for estimating productivity and costs for the first production stage, in particular for stand establishment and young forest maintenance

WHFF Project 2019.07

Project Management: Martin Geiser

 

The most important facts in brief

  • As early as 1996, WSL created calculation models for calculating time requirements and costs for young forest maintenance work, but the content of these models was no longer up to date and could no longer be used on today’s operating systems
  • A survey among forestry district and operation managers in Switzerland showed which work of the 1st production stage is interesting for the creation of IT-supported calculation models
  • For each model, detailed documentation was prepared on the working procedures, the data basis, the important parameters influencing productivity, as well as on structure and handling
  • The models were then programmed in the Java programming language and combined in a calculation tool with user-friendly interfaces
  • The new young forest management models JuWaPfl of the WSL represent, in addition to the timber harvesting productivity models HeProMo, a useful modern basis to ensure the sustainable management of forests

 

Project description

Starting in 1996, the current research group “Sustainable Forest Management at WSL” created calculation models for the time required and costs of various young forest maintenance tasks and already at that time implemented them in an IT-supported calculation tool. Due to increasing requests from forestry practice for newer young forest maintenance calculation models and because the old DOS-based IT models could no longer be run on newer operating systems, the research group decided to renew these models with financial support from the Forest and Wood Research Promotion Switzerland (WHFF-CH).

The aim of the project was to obtain basic data on time, performance and costs for the evaluated work of the 1st production stage and to create a productivity model for each of the important influencing variables. Subsequently, these productivity models were to be implemented in an IT-supported calculation tool.

The corresponding work of the 1st production stage includes

  • stand establishment measures (planting),
  • maintenance measures in young growth,
  • thicket and pole wood,
  • value harvesting,
  • game protection measures and
  • technical measures (barriers to prevent snow sliding, footpaths, skid trails).

In total, eight calculation models had to be developed. The documentation is structured similarly for all models and provides information on the basic data used, the respective working method, the important factors influencing productivity, the mathematical relationships (formulas, calculation procedure) and the default values used. At the end, they show a so-called user guidance, which is the basis for the implementation in the IT-supported models.

 

Conclusions

The JuWaPfl project was ultimately concluded with a positive result despite major difficulties in data gathering. The survey of forestry practice conducted in November 2017 prior to the start of the project was able to identify the work relevant today in the 1st production stage. In the project, seven of eight planned models were created and implemented in the IT-based calculation tool. Despite extensive research on data bases, only the draft documentation (as of 21.05.2021) could be created for the model Plan skid trails. The actual model and the IT implementation could not yet be realized and the project goal could not be achieved in this point.

In the course of the project processing it has become apparent that it would make sense to supplement individual calculation models with further partial work. To mention here in particular the model “game protection”, with which the single protection with plastic collar could be taken up. This is a protection against biting that has become more widespread in practice in recent years.

The model “Measures against snow sliding” has so far only included the creation by hand of berms (small terraces designed for tree regeneration on steep slopes). Increasingly, however, such berms are being constructed by machine using small or walking excavators, but the research team lacked the corresponding data bases here. These would have to be collected for this purpose.

At present, the user interface of the IT tool is only available in German. The user base can be expanded considerably if the tool can also be used in French, Italian and English. A corresponding translation is planned in principle, but was not part of the present project.

In a later step, it is planned to merge the young forest maintenance models (1st production stage) with the timber harvesting productivity models (2nd production stage) in a common IT tool “Forest Operation”.

 

The project was supported by the Swiss Forest and Wood Research Promotion WHFF-CH of the Federal Office for the Environment BAFU.

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