France will monitor poplar plantations using new remote sensing images from satellites

Propopulus Team

In collaboration with our sponsors France Bois Forêt and Garnica, amongst others, the French National Poplar Council (CNP) has launched a research programme in France to make annual mappings of poplar plantations using satellite remote sensing. It will also monitorthe status and progress exhaustively.

Currently, poplar plantations in France are distributed in small plots scattered throughout the country, with a rotation period of between 18 and 20 years. Up to now The National Forest Inventory is the system used for monitoring purposes, but the data is limited and does not provide the industry with enough information, for long-term investment decision making.

Between 2015 and 2017, the European Space Agency orbited two Sentinel-2 satellites that provide high-resolution images of the Earth every five days. The objective is to monitor vegetation, land use and global warming. The images, classified as hyper-temporal due to their frequency, are free to use and allow to see how the plantations develop.

Based on the new data provided by these satellites and aware of its importance, the National Poplar Council in France has established a three-year research program to assess the status of poplar plantations. The French Ministry of Agriculture and Food, France Bois Forest, the County Council of Lot-et-Garonne, the regions of New Aquitaine and Grand Est, the National Research Agency (through a CIFRE1 grant ), the Codifab (Professional Committee for the Development of French Furniture Industries), the Spanish company Garnica and the Alliance Forêt Bois all participate in this initiative.

The project is led by Dynafor, a mixed research unit that brings together INRA Toulouse, the Toulouse National Agronomy School, Purpan School of Engineering in the remote sensing area and the National Centre for Forest Property for field data collection of poplar crops.

In addition, a computer algorithm for the analysis of satellite images with 90% reliability in the identification of poplar plantations is being developed. Subsequently, data processing at national level will be carried out through the Centre for Scientific Specialization.

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