Open Earth Monitor — Global Workshop 2023

Tree scale in-situ data from TreeTalker IoT devices: a new asset for enhancing forest monitoring capacities
2023-10-06, 10:30–10:35, Poster presentation

In situ data are fundamental for the assessment of global forest resources, in consideration that the expansion and improvement of Earth Observation capacities by remote sensing require an increasing availability of referenced surface data for validation purposes. The critical role of land data in fulfilling the demand for sound and timely environmental information has been recognized in the Canberra declaration (2019) by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), but to date the geographic cover and temporal frequency of forest in-situ observations remain very limited.
The TreeTalker, an innovative Internet of Things (IoT) based device, was recently introduced. It includes a set of sensors to monitor tree stem radial growth, spectral properties of below canopy radiation (in 12 spectral bands the VIS-NIR), stem sap flow and water content, tree stability with accelerometers, tree phenology, and microclimate. Each device transmits high-frequency (typically hourly) data allowing to monitor continuously the biological activity of individual trees. This technology has so far been applied at numerous sites counting approximately 100 installations worldwide, with a total of about 2000 operating TreeTalkers, yet not organized in a single common network.
We present examples of data time series from the sites network of Trentino, discussing their current merits, limits and potential to be routinely integrated in a structured multisource environmental monitoring system. We further report on the progress towards the exploitation of this new data stream for forest ecosystem monitoring with a focus on the back-end developments for raw data processing and quality check, the ouput data standardization in agreement with data FAIR principles, and the front-end data visualization and distribution.

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OEMC Grant agreement ID: 101059548

Luca Belelli Marchesini received his M.Sc degree in Forest Sciences and PhD degree in Forest Ecology at the University of Tuscia, Viterbo (Italy) in 2002 and 2007 respectively. He is currently a researcher at the Edmund Mach Foundation (Italy) after professional experiences in the Netherlands and Russia (2011-2018). His research interests mainly cover the quantification of carbon and energy budgets of terrestrial ecosystems and their variability under the influence of climatic and environmental factors. His recent work is devoted to the application of IoT technology to trees biomonitoring.