Forest, Nature and Landscape
Overall, the research carried out in this laboratory focuses on the spatial and quantitative assessment of biological and man-induced patterns and processes at the landscape and habitat level both in rural, urban and natural settings. We aim at coupling traditional research on forestry, landscape elements, land use, and biotic communities with earth observation, spatial data sciences, the statistical modeling environment, and planning tools. To that extent, intergrated use is made of field survey and inventory techniques, digital and photographic remote sensing, geographical/land information and global positioning system technologies (GIS,L IS,GPS), multivariate data analysis methods (ordination and classification), decision support system (DDS) approaches, life cycle assessment (LCA) routines etc. Specifically of concern are ecologically based models at micro and macro scales, the biotic aspects of forest, nature and landscape management, land use monitoring (actual and potential), and planning tools within the concepts of optimization, sustainability and societal acceptance. * Modeling and understanding of spatial heterogeneity, including the effects of isolation and fragmentation in the landscape, the impact of heterogeneity on biotic and abiotic processes and on biodiversity and its components. * Biomass, leaf area index, and growth efficiency monitoring of green canopies. * Multi-scale intergration of earth observation data and ground information into environmental data bases, operational monitoring tools, and decision support systems. * Integration of remote sensing, GIS, GPS, field survey, and telemetry to evaluate dynamic habitat use at the landscape level. * Assessment of the possibilities and quantification of the impacts of planning and management and ecological restoration measures on biodiversity of nature, forest areas and landscape elements (incl. the role of seed banks and dispersal of plant an animal species). * Assessment of forest regeneration, with among others, natural regeneration of oak. * Development of cost-effective and sustainable silvicultural practices. * Modeling of the interaction between microwave energy and vegetative land cover. * Landscape research as part of rural planning and environmental impact studies. * Assessment and monitoring of multifunctional use of forests, nature areas, green spaces and rural landscapes. * Research on forest inventory, forest management and forest sustainability. * Imagery-based landscape typology procedures and classifications * Expert systems for nature, forest and landscape inventory and classifications and management in rural as well as in urban environments. * Operational change detection methods in nature and forest ecosystems. * Land-use and vegetation assessment/mapping in temperate and tropical regions. * Integration of image analysis results in GIS environments. * Derivation from remote sensing data and field surveys of descriptive and predictive habitat models, probabilistic habitat usage models, and biotope fragmentation indices for a range of plant and animal species. * Synthesis studies on nature, forest and landscape management and ecological restoration. * Impact studies of land use regimes on the composition, structure and diversity of forest ecosystems (historical ecology). * Environmental impact studies.