- Shih, Tian-Ting
The Graduate School, Purdue University
Due to the increasing demands of non-timber values and natural conservation in forestry from the public, forest management becomes more complex. As multiple resource management has been emphasized in the current forestry issues, more textual and spatial data and more complicated and broader knowledge on managing these interacted resources are required.
Knowledge-based systems (KBS), which have the ability to store valuable and relevant knowledge from field experts and research papers, are playing an important role in the decision-making process. Geographic information systems (GIS), which have efñcient spatial analysis capabilities, can be used to combine conventional information systems and maps when managing forest resources. The inventory data of forest resources can be easily stored, retrieved, manipulated, and updated from database systems (DBS) to provide the basic inputs to GIS and I(BS. To fully utilize the advantages of these computer-based information systems (CBIS), decision support systems (DSS) can be used to provide a fromework which can more effectively connect the spatial data analysis with needed textual data and supporting knowledge bases.
A spatial and ecological forest management decision support system was designed to support decision-making on sound silvicultural and management prescriptions for the central hardwoods from ecosystem and multiple-use aspects. In this research, this system was built by fully integrating the concepts and techniques of DBS, KBS, and GIS. Through spatial simulations and ecosystem approaches, a specific ecological site classification system (ESCS) was developed to delineate forest tracts into ecological land types. Based on theses ESC land types, the current forest conditions, the desired forest conditions, and the management constraints can be retrieved and manipulated by several knowledge-based inventory and information extraction programs. After these processes, these programs will provide geo-referenced silvicultural and management recommendations on multiple forest resources.
With a user-friendly forest management decision support system (FMDSS) user menu, the user can control these system operations and request printing of textual outputs and displaying of basic, analyzed, and simulated spatial imagery. These results provide valuable information to support forest managers' decision-making on their forest properties.