Application of Gis Land Capability Classes for Forestry

Abstract Environmentalists’ decision makers need the ability to integrate and correlate information from many different sectors in such a way that their relationships are more easily understood. To assess the potentials and carrying capacities of environmental systems, to monitor trends, to make projections, and to test solutions, managers require greatly improved access to information and better analytical support for decision making. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) represent an important approach that can provide this support. In this paper the land capability classes for forestry based on physiographic factors such as parent material, soil depth, aspect, slope, rill erosion and the vertical distribution of land cover classes have been used in order to give the forest manager of natural resources benefits from knowledge of the location, extent, and quality of the resources being managed.

Management and Policy Implications

The various countries where the economy is based on agriculture, such as Greece, a very important factor is the implementation of a single agricultural policy with future plans based on correct directions. In the forestry sector, where planning application times are much longer than in other rural areas, planning should be based on the European action plan for sustainable and diversified management of forest resources.

In this paper, new technologies are used as means of making scientific decisions for forest policy (local and national). New technologies allow the use of Decision Support Systems (D.S.S.) which is a category of information systems that support the activities leading to decision making. A properly designed D.S.S. is an interactive software system which aims to help those who make decisions to obtain useful information from a combination of raw data, documents and personal knowledge, or business models in order to identify, solve problems and make solutions.

 In this study, an attempt is made to use a DSS considering environmental factors (local climate, parent material, soil depth and aspect) to find areas that can be developed productive forests and woodlands. The specific area, which belongs to the northern part of Greece and has an area of 19000 km2, no other similar studies have been made and an approach will help forest managers in making science-based decisions which of course will be consistent with the Global Strategy for sustainable development of forests. The production of the map of areas with productive forest land may be the guiding thread of economic and rural development of the region for years to come.

Keywords GIS, land capability classes, forest timber production, forest treatments.

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Agriculture Journal: Application of Gis Land Capability Classes for Forestry

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