Purdue launches new AI-based global forest mapping project

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Purdue University’s Jingjing Liang receives a $ 870,000 grant from the World Resources Institute to map global forest carbon sequestration.

“To capture the right carbon sequestration rates of forest ecosystems around the world has always been a difficult task, largely because doing so requires a lot of land source data, and now such data are very limited,” Liang said. Strong to the scientific community. ” Associate Professor of Quantitative Forest Ecology and Co-Director of the Forest Advanced Computing and Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Nancy Harris, research director at Land & Carbon Lab at the World Resources Institute, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit research organization, said: “This is more challenging than mapping carbon emissions from losses. Forest ”. Signals in satellite imagery when trees are felled, leading to a sharp drop in forest carbon stocks and a pulse of emissions into the atmosphere. With forest accumulation, carbon accumulation is gradual and non-linear.

“Even the most advanced satellite sensors can not detect it reliably, especially in the old forests where the signal is saturated. “A forest will stop rising long before it stops collecting carbon.”

Forest carbon accumulation rates are sensitive to small changes in three forest growth components: increased growth and mortality. Ingrowth represents a number of small seedlings that reach a certain level size, called a tree. Growth is a gradual increase in the diameter of a tree through the process of photosynthesis. Land-based forest inventory data measured at various points at present are the only reliable source of information for the correct amount of these three forest growth components.

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“Until now, people have not been able to estimate the rate of cultivation, growth and mortality of individual forests on a global scale. This information gap leaves great uncertainty in the size, location and trends of global forest carbon sinks, Liang said.

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The New World Resource Institute project in Purdue will draw on large-scale forest resource inventory data with re-measurement collected by Science-i and the Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative. (Photo courtesy of Javier Garcia-Perez) Download

Liang is developing an artificial intelligence model that will combine information gathered from billions of trees measured on the spot with satellites and other geographic data to map local forest growth rates across the global forest range.

“This will be the first AI-based forest growth model deployed at The world. In addition to accurately quantifying carbon dynamics, Liang’s AI-based forest growth model will also capture the potential of forest biodiversity and wood quality.

“We are excited to support the growth of this research collaboration.” The new spatial data will help us better understand the role our planet’s forests play in “Natural fundamental solutions to global climate change mitigation. The integrated and global network approach of this initiative is at the heart of WRI’s Land & Carbon Lab mission.”

Creating such a model requires enormous computing power and extensive global data coverage. Purdue’s state-of-the-art high-performance cluster will provide adequate computer support. However, achieving comprehensive global coverage of land-based plot data remains a challenge, especially in tropical countries.

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“Data from these countries are historically limited,” Liang said. “Through the newly created network of Science-i and its sister group, the Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative, we have a working relationship with a large number of scientists around the world who are already collecting and sharing that data. “

Liang created Science-i, a web-based collaboration platform with more than 300 scientists from around the world. He also co-founded the Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative, which created a sample database of 1.3 million lots and 55 million trees. That database will serve as the basis for the project.

“We will collect more data, especially from the southern hemisphere, to fill those gaps,” Liang said. We will get more people involved, especially from less representative groups.

Project collaborators include representatives of indigenous groups across North America, the Amazon, Africa, and elsewhere. Rural communities, forest practitioners and civic scientists will also be project collaborators.

“We co-produce knowledge based on the fair principles of global cooperation: searchable, accessible, interoperable and reusable,” Liang said.

“In Science-i, everyone works together as an equal partner on all projects. We openly share our findings with transparent, real-time discussions across the entire team. We then evaluate through and incorporate our research findings at the end. “This is a new way to do internationally collaborative forest research.”

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The comprehensive global partnership and extensive forest tree database developed from this project will complement Purdue Digital Forest Initiative, which seeks to utilize multidisciplinary technologies and expertise in measurement, control and management. Urban and rural forests.

Liang is the co-leader, along with Ximena Bernal, an associate professor of biological sciences for the Biodiversity Research Community, part of Purdue’s recently launched Multidisciplinary Institute for Sustainable Future.

Author: Steve Koppes

Media Contact: Maureen Manier, [email protected]

Source: Jingjing Liang, [email protected]; Nancy Harris, [email protected]

About Land & Carbon Lab:

Land & Carbon Lab (LCL) is the World Resource Center’s leading hub for geospatial data, analysis and monitoring of the world’s soil and its natural ecosystems. Its monitoring data and solutions, including the Global Forest Monitoring Platform, are available to help accelerate the implementation and financing of nature-based solutions to global climate change. The LCL offers: (1) innovations in open geospatial data for soil and carbon monitoring, (2) intelligence to support policies, natural resources solutions and target monitoring, and (3) revised tools. Helping businesses, governments, civil society organizations and localities. Communities make decisions on data. LCL collaborates across the WRI and its network of external partners to transform big geographic data into actions and impacts. www.landcarbonlab.org, www.globalforestwatch.org, www.wri.org

Agricultural relations: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier Head of Department [email protected]

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