Identification of forest damage caused by bark beetle using multi-sensor remote sensing

Problem description

The negative effects of climate change, such as increasingly frequent periods of drought and heat waves, greatly weaken the European pines, thereby reducing their resistance to bark beetle infections.

Bark beetles cause serious ecological and economic damage; the size of damage is more than 40 million m3 timber per year, only in pine forests of Central Europe, and increase of spreading is still expected.

A significant measure of tree destruction sour the life of both people and animals, and it sensitively concerns the full wood-based industry.


The aims of bark beetle damage mapping is to implement aerial remote sensing data collection in areas infected with bark beetle, to collect field reference and calibration data, the recognition of tree parameters (species, age, health status) and the status of bark beetle infection (green, red, brown phase), identification of damaged trees, spatial and temporal monitoring of the bark beetle invasion.


Based on the data of aerial hyperspectral data from leaf-on period and aerial laser scanning data from leaf-off season, the field reference and calibration species and the age of trees (ecological characteristics) are determined, and health status is estimated (healthy, bark beetle infection is the green, red, or brown phase). By using time series multispectral satellite data change detection can be carried out and the area can be monitored.

Applied technologies

• aerial hyperspectral imagery

• airborne laserscanning (LiDAR)

• on-field calibration measurements

• multispectral satellite images

End products

Potentials in the generated database

The collected data used for the detection of bark beetle are spatially determined, covers large geographical area and ensures temporal scanning, which matches to the life cycle of bark beetles and gives the possibility to evaluate time series data.

This survey is suitable for the analysis of the direction and scale of bark beetle invasion.

The monitoring of bark beetle invasion in space and time provides a basis for the development of process-based models for forecasting potential future changes caused by climate change, and for the development of actions and strategies.


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