The importance of the article for the I-MAESTRO Project:
Forest disturbances as one of the main topics of I-MAESTRO. The paper present the results of the research conducted at one of the 3 Case Study Areas of I-MAESTRO – Milicz Forest District.
Monitoring of forest disturbances is of great importance, particularly nowadays, when climate change and severe extreme events such as droughts have a large impact on forest ecosystems. Changes in the precipitation and a higher drought frequency have an impact on the growth and condition of trees, the occurrence of insects and fungal diseases, and, finally, the increase of mortality risk. The Scots pine stands, which covers nearly 60% of forests in Poland, are exposed to the disturbances such as bark beetles infestation. The first symptoms of pine dieback caused by bark beetles were reported in 2015 in Poland. Cost-efficient way of monitoring forest changes is enabled by the use of satellite imagery, e.g., from the Sentinel-2 satellites, characterized by a high temporal (2–3 days), spatial (10–20 m), and spectral resolution. In total, 49 images were used and the spetral trajectories of Scots pine forest pixels were analyzed. The approach allowed to detect changes in Scots pine stands from 2015 to 2019 with high accuracy. In future, the used approach can be used in other studies.