Developing a model with help of GIS to assess risk for Storm Damage in Kronoberg County

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för naturgeografi och ekosystemvetenskap

Abstract: During the 20th century storm damage in Sweden has increased as a consequence of how the forest has been managed, an increased proportion of forest and older tree stands. The increase of storm damage has consequences for the regional economy, infrastructure, foresters, and the society. At the same time the climate is gradually changing, which means increased temperatures and higher precipitation ranges. Progressively we are shifting towards another climate, and an altered climate will have both direct and indirect effect on our forests. To prevent future storm damage to our forests it is essential to adapt. Forest management must be scrutinized and assessed, and models to predict and evaluate storm damage can be valuable. This study focuses on identifying areas with particular risk for storm damage. By doing this it becomes easier to prevent further damage in the future. It facilitates the decisions for foresters regarding management strategies but also makes it possible to perform deeper assessments of influencing factors, both abiotic and biotic. In this thesis the landscape of Kronoberg County, a county in southern Sweden is examined. Several variables are applied to a classification model which demonstrates five categories of varying risk of storm damage. The model was then compared to actual storm damage to investigate its accuracy. The study showed that when it comes to storm damage to forests this type of simple classification modelling gives a rather realistic picture of the forest sensitivity. A flat landscape like the county of Kronoberg made it easier to perform the analysis since topography can have a large impact on the extent of storm damage. Changing values and altering weighting in the equations was an effective way of investigating the best type of model design. Kronoberg County it is essential to encourage the establishment of mixed forest stands at a rejuvenation stage.

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