High-resolution operational soil moisture monitoring for forests in the Middle Germany
Abstract. The forests of Central Germany (Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia) are vital components of the local ecosystems, economy, and recreation. However, in recent years, these forests have faced significant challenges due to prolonged climate-change-induced droughts, causing water shortages, tree stress, and pest outbreaks. One of the key components of the forests’ vitality and productivity is the availability of soil moisture. Given the anticipated increase of frequency and severity of droughts events, there is a growing demand for accurate and real-time soil moisture information. This underscores the need for development of an appropriate monitoring tool to make forest management strategies more effective.
The article introduces an operational high-resolution soil moisture monitoring framework for the forests in Middle Germany, which addresses the main limitations and problems of the existing monitoring systems. The key components of this system include advanced LWF-BROOK90 1D water balance model, large database of National Federal Forest Inventory, real-time climate data from German Weather Service, and web information platform for the results presentation with daily updates. This system empowers forest managers and other decision-makers to take targeted, local measures for sustainable forest management, aiding in both drought mitigation and long-term forest health in the face of climate change.
Status: open (until 28 Mar 2024)
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