Current issue: 54(2)
This study examined the relationships between forest management planning units and patches formed by forest habitat components. The test area used was a part of Koli National Park in North Karelia, eastern Finland. Forest management planning units (i.e. forest compartments) were defined by using a traditional method of Finnish forestry which applies aerial photographs and compartment-wise field inventory. Patches of forest habitat components were divided according to subjective rules by using a chosen set of variables depicting the edaphic features and vegetation of a forest habitat. The spatial distribution of the habitat components was estimated with the kriging-interpolation based on systematically located sample plots. The comparisons of the two patch mosaics were made by using the standard tools of GIS. The results of the study show that forest compartment division does not correlate very strongly with the forest habitat pattern. On average, the mean patch size of the forest habitat components is greater and the number of these patches lower compared to forest compartment division. However, if the forest habitat component distribution had been considered, the number of the forest compartments would have at least doubled after intersection.
Managing forests and other natural resources requires merging of data and knowledge from many fields. Research efforts in many countries have simultaneously aimed at computer applications to help managing the large amounts of data involved and the complexities of decision making. This has invariably led to large integrated systems. An integrated system is software that consists of modules for various tasks in natural resource management, spatial analysis, simulation and optimization, diagnostic reasoning, levels, and communicating with the user.
The paper presents an overview of the need, levels and historical development of integrated systems. Newly emerged technologies, especially object-oriented programming and the X Window System with its associated environment have given new flexibility and transparency to the designs. The client-server architecture is found out as an ideal model for integrated systems. The paper describes an implementation of these ideas, the INFORMS system that supports the information needs of district level forest management planning.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.