Protect and manage forests with AI

KIT and EDI GmbH develop an intelligent assistance system for forest management in climate change - new episode of the interactive video series "Doing things with AI"

Support for foresters in the area: KIT and EDI GmbH are developing an assistance system with artificial intelligence (AI) for forest management. (Photo: Dominic Hohlbaum / Triebfeder)

Support for foresters in the area: KIT and EDI GmbH are developing an assistance system with artificial intelligence (AI) for forest management. (Photo: Dominic Hohlbaum / Triebfeder)

Drought, heat and pest infestation: climate change threatens forests in Germany and poses major challenges for forest management. Support now comes from a joint project of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and EDI GmbH, a spin-off of the KIT. Together with partners from forestry and forest science, they are developing the EDE 4.0 assistance system, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help foresters maintain the forest and manage it sustainably.

The consequences of climate change have long since reached Germany's forests - the largest forest decline since the 1980s is currently taking place. In Baden-Württemberg today, 43 percent of the forest areas are damaged. Findings from science can help counteract this and make forest ecosystems more resilient through targeted measures: “Mixed forests with hornbeam, maple or wild cherry can cope better with the new conditions than, for example, spruce forests - but they are less productive. When it comes to planting, the condition of the soil also plays an important role, ”says climate researcher Dr. Joachim Fallmann from the South German Climate Office at KIT. “The forest management now has to react and make complex considerations. “So that foresters can make the optimal decision based on data, EDI GmbH, a KIT spin-off specializing in intelligent industrial software, is developing a cloud-based decision support system together with the South German Climate Office and the KIT Institute for Geography and Geoecology that works with artificial intelligence (AI) methods. The interdisciplinary project EDE 4.0 (stands for: Extended Dynamic Felling Planning) runs in close cooperation with partners from forest management and is intended to support sustainable forest management. that works with methods of artificial intelligence (AI). The interdisciplinary project EDE 4.0 (stands for: Extended Dynamic Felling Planning) runs in close cooperation with partners from forest management and is intended to support sustainable forest management. that works with methods of artificial intelligence (AI). The interdisciplinary project EDE 4.0 (stands for: Extended Dynamic Felling Planning) runs in close cooperation with partners from forest management and is intended to support sustainable forest management.

An intelligent assistance system for forest management

The starting point for the development of the assistance system is a software solution from EDI GmbH, the EDI hive IoT Framework, with which the founders are already using machine learning in aerospace or mechanical engineering. “At the end of the development, there will be a mobile app that is intuitive to use and supports the foresters on site with their work in the forest with AI - for example when deciding where to harvest or when to replant, including the chances of success Planting at a defined location, ”says Dr. Thomas Freudenmann, one of the co-founders of EDI GmbH.

In order for the system to deliver relevant results, it must first recognize relationships and patterns. To do this, a lot of data from very different areas is mixed with one another. These are, for example, data on medium-term climate development that are provided by the German Weather Service and the KIT Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research. The KIT Institute for Geography and Geoecology provides specific forest science data, while forestry provides information on the market environment. Last but not least, the assistance system also takes into account the local knowledge of the foresters in the forest district. (mhe)

Further information: http://ede4.0.edi.gmbh/de/

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