Meeting at the Department of Forests
On the 17th of Dec 2019, Mr Christos Theocharidis visited the local station of Department of Forests at Platania. The visit was arranged by the Friends of the Earth (Cyprus) and Dr Milto Miltiadou as it was combined with some field work required for the “FOREST” project.
During the meeting with the experienced forester Mr George Georgiou, the objectives of the “ASTARTE” project were discussed, as well as potential forested areas to be studied. On the one hand, the habitat areas of Pinus Nigra may be the most important areas to study due to the decreased snowfall over the winter period. On the other hand, snow negatively influences the backscattered signal of the radar system producing noise while interpreting the data. Another suggestion for studying was some plots that the Department of Forests takes regular measurements about trees (e.g. Diameter at Breast Height). Nevertheless, taking into consideration the size of these plots and the pixel size of the radar satellite images (30m for images acquired between 1992-2005 and 10m for more recent images), the possibility of getting reliable measurements is very low. We, therefore, decided to look into habitat places of all coniferous trees.
We further discussed the importance of removing burnt areas from our study area. The backscattered signal of the radar system dramatically changes before and after a fire event. Since ASTARTE focuses on forest changes relating to land surface temperature, including burnt areas in our interpretations will confer unreliable results.