The reliable results of the NFI are based on continuous research and development of inventory methods. The changing information needs of the forestry sector and other information users, and especially requirements for up-to-dateness and accuracy of the statistics are challenges for NFI research.
During the last decade, NFI research has focused on utilizing remote sensing in forest inventory. The multi-source NFI that exploits satellite images was developed and operationally used already during the 8th NFI (1986-1994). In addition to satellite images (e.g. Landsat and SPOT), other remote sensing materials such as AISA (Airborne Imaging Spectrometer) and SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) have been tested for forest inventory applications.
The current research topics include:
- Estimation and error estimation methods for forest inventory
- Development of methods for the multi-source NFI
- Continuous updating of information on forest resources by means of remote sensing
- Estimation of carbon budget of forests
- Assessment and monitoring of forest biodiversity
- Landscape ecology of boreal forests
In many topics, the research work is carried out in collaboration with other research projects in Metla and several other research organisations. Besides Metla, research is funded, e.g., by TEKES, EU and ESA.
Project leader: Erkki Tomppo