FORWARDS will employ information from sites belonging to three main types of network: existing networks, a network of demo sites, and a network of pilot sites. The network of demo sites is a subset of the network of pilot sites. The demo sites are already determined from the beginning of the FORWARDS consortium. The network of pilot sites will be extended during the implementation stage using the grants-to-third-parties. Any of these networks may be geared towards either forest monitoring or testing CSF & Restoration management activities.
The data streams from which the project will derive information from a pan-European perspective will come from the following sources.
Existing established monitoring networks
Taking advantage of data from current forest monitoring and inventory networks, plus the Copernicus satellite data and products, to obtain information about forest disturbances, threats, vulnerabilities and risks from a pan-European perspective.
Existing established CSF & restoration networks
Reviewing current CSF & restoration management trials in Europe in order to: draw recommendations and distil best practices for specific forest types and biogeographical domains, and derive information for upscaling these best practices. Data selected from these networks will also be employed to consolidate knowledge for practical management. The networks of demo and its extension into pilot sites will provide information at a more local scale, useful for practical management.
Network of pilot sites
The network of pilot monitoring supersites:
These are forest monitoring sites with multiple information layers measured on the ground:
- They include proximate sensing for capturing canopy dynamics
- They capture water and carbon cycling with high temporal resolution and with near-real-time data delivery for better integration with RS time series
- FORWARDS will incorporate some existing monitoring networks and extend them with new sites involving additional monitoring as part of the network of pilot monitoring sites. The grants-to-third-parties will pertain to supplying CSF indicators from supersites, fostering innovation in forest monitoring.
Network of CSF & restoration pilot sites
It is a wide network of CSF management sites, each representing a model activity for CSF management, which can serve as a prototype to be upscaled within its biogeographical domain. These will complement those already existing from established CSF & Restoration networks, as they will be allocated under the criteria of expanding the biogeographical distribution, management alternatives considered, or type of stakeholder and citizen case demonstrated. The grants-to-third-parties will be devoted to developing this network of pilots.
The network of demo sites
There are five demo sites that have current involvement from FORWARDS partners and they will all entail novel monitoring measurement techniques, testing current and new CSF & Restoration activities. They present a model case for citizen and stakeholder engagement. Grants-to-third-parties will be used to extend the demo sites into a Network of Pilot sites. The five FORWARDS demo-sites are:
- Wind resistance and resilience at peat restoration sites (hemiboreal forests, Latvia; SILAVA)
- Mediterranean mountain forests (Central Apennines, Italy: UNIMOL)
- Boreal & subalpine landscape restoration (Vindelälven Biosphere Reserve, Sweden; SLU)
- Diversification of Sitka spruce plantations (Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, UK; FCRA)
- Treeline forest restoration and climate-smart forestry (Alpine region, Switzerland; WSL)