URL: https://www.waldwissen.net/wald/naturschutz/gewaesser/fva_wasserhandbuch_kartographische_erfassung_gewaesser/index_EN
Originalartikel: Prinet, Julien (2008): Objectifs et mise en œuvre de l’inventaire des milieux aquatiques forestiers. Translation published at http://www.waldwissen.net, 23.11.2009.
Autor(en): Julien Prinet
Online-Version: Stand: 13.08.2014
Redaktion: FVA, D

1. Goals and Implementation of the Cartographic Survey of Water Bodies in Forests


Objective of the cartographic survey

The research carried out within the framework of the INTERREG project "aquatic ecology issues in forestry" relates to watercourses in forests. This includes:

Die Petite Fecht in den Vogesen.   Feuchtgebiet im Wald.
Fig. 1: River in the forest: The Petite Fecht in the crystal Vosges.   Fig. 2: Wetland in the forest: Upland moor. (Photos: ONF)
Tab. 1: The six natural landscapes in the research area.
The six natural landscapes in the research area
Fig. 3: Map of the research area.
Click to enlarge

Water courses and wetlands outside of public forests were not cartographically surveyed. Exceptions were wetlands and rivers on the edge of forests which were partly or completely within the public forest area.

A certain completeness was strived for in the research; all relevant wetlands and streams without special qualitative or quantitative differentiating factors were to be included. However, because of the size of the research area and the number of researched objects, several watercourse areas couldn’t be included. This information should be captured at a later time.

Research area

The research site covered an area of 1,666,000 ha and included public Alsatian forests in the foothills of the Vosges and Alsatian Jura mountain ranges. The geomorphology structure is variable with six different natural landscapes (see Table 1 and Figure 3).

Approach and personnel

The field work took place between June 2006 and June 2007. The descriptions were carried out at the district level by the district leader. 196 forestry districts covering 305 communities were included. Around 200 workers carried out the survey over approximately 996 days (average 5 days per forest district). 285,131€ was estimated for preparation, project management and carrying out of the survey. (54% of the total amount spent on the French part of the INTERREG-Project).

Method to describe wetlands

The methods applied are partly based on the French method "Tronc commun", developed by the "Institut français de l’environnement" (IFEN) (Statistical department of the French Environment Ministry). It deals with a functional description and not a real mapping of habitats.

Method to describe watercourses

The method applied follows the "Estruka-Method” developed by the Forest Research Institute in Freiburg (FVA). Both methods consider to a great extent the effects of forest management and use and their resulting impacts.

Objective and value of mapping rivers and wetlands in forests

Surveying water courses and wetlands in forests is a key instrument in implementing the four main goals of the INTERREG-Project partnership.

The four main goals of the INTERREG-Project
Fig. 4: The four main goals of the INTERREG-Project.

Constituent parts of the project

Measure Survey of rivers and wetlands
Where? In public forests of the Vosges and the Alsatian Jura ranges
Who? ONF

The survey of watercourses and wetlands served to improve the knowledge of existing watercourses and wetlands within the research area. This appraisal enabled:

Watercourse Survey

Described objects

Fig. 5: Described objects.

Principles of the Method:

The field worker determines on site:

  1. natural obstacles (log dams, drops, fallen trees etc, see Fig. 6)
  2. artificial obstacles (River crossings, steps etc see Fig 7)
Natürliches Hinderniss: Totholz   Künstliches Hinderniss: Rohrdurchlass
Fig. 6: Natural barrier: Deadwood.
  Fig. 7: Artificial barrier: Pipe culvert. (Photos: ONF)

Wetland Survey

This resulted in an almost complete survey of the wetlands in public forests. The condition report covers "normal" wetlands of all sizes with typical fauna.

An example of how the connections between wetlands and river networks are described
Fig. 8: An example of how the connections between wetlands and river networks are described.
Relevant Data
Fig. 9: Relevant Data

The watercourse and wetland condition report increased knowledge about the distribution of these areas in forests.

It also allowed problems in these areas caused by forestry to be recognised and prioritised. Management guidelines can be suited to local conditions and specific measures introduced.

Potential of satellite image analysis of wetlands

Parallel to the onsite condition survey, an appraisal of high resolution satellite images (QuickBird) as a potential wetland aid was carried out. This related to two areas of 60 km² in the Vosges mountain range.

This process demonstrates the limits of satellite image analysis mapping aids in small areas within a forested area.

In both areas, the data collected on site was compared with the automatically calculated data from the satellite images (near-infrared).

Article series: Cartographic survey of water bodies in the Vosges and Alsatian Jura mountain ranges by the ONF