In a statement overnight, Co-Founder and CEO of CollectiveCrunch Jarkko Lipponen said, “Bark beetles and storm damages pose significant threats to forest health, resulting in substantial economic and ecological consequences.”
According to a 2022 study, bark beetle outbreaks are responsible for the loss of large areas of forests, and in recent years, they appear to be increasing in frequency and magnitude due to climate change.
Bark beetle outbreaks reduce wood quality and production and influence the water/nutrient/carbon cycle, affecting ecosystem biodiversity.
In response to this critical need, Collective Crunch has partnered with Metsa Wood to develop an AI-based app that detects bark beetle outbreaks early and near real-time monitoring of storm damages in forest ecosystems.
“Detecting the early signs of bark beetles, and monitoring changes such as storm damage in near real-time, is vital for forest owners to take swift and appropriate actions to mitigate their impact,” Jarkko Lipponen said.
The app will collect remote surveying data and scans for storm and European spruce bark beetle damage.
“The joint venture aims to provide an application that will add to the digital material we use, for example, in maps that indicate storm and insect damage,” says Olli Leino, director of digitalisation for Metsa Group’s wood supply and forest services.
“With the aid of the latest technology, we are now more equipped than ever to provide deeper insights into the health of forests and, in particular, into forest transformation,” says Jarkko Lipponen.
How it works: App uses AI to detect early signs of bark beetles and stress
By analysing a combination of various data sets, the AI-powered solution detects subtle patterns and anomalies associated with bark beetle infestations.
It allows forest owners to access near real-time information and precise location-based insights to effectively combat the risks posed by bark beetles and storm damage.
According to Lipponen, the app goes beyond detecting bark beetle outbreaks and storm damage.
“It also can identify forest areas under stress, providing forest owners with valuable information about ecosystem health and risks,” Lipponen said.
“The solution can detect dead trees, enabling a deeper understanding of the biodiversity values within forests.”
By comprehensively assessing the condition of forests, the technology empowers forest owners to make informed decisions regarding sustainable forest management practices while promoting the preservation of vital biodiversity and ecological balance.
The system also can identify forest areas under stress, providing growers with valuable information about ecosystem health and risks.
The app will be launched in August 2023
Metsa Wood is finalising integrations and development with customers able to access the product by August.
“The collaboration between Metsa Group and CollectiveCrunch highlights the power of industry-leading expertise and technological advancements in addressing the pressing challenges faced by the sector,” Lipponen said.
New carbon partnership with Oregan State University
It comes as CollectiveCrunch announced its first forest carbon partnership in the U.S. market.
The new partnership, announced in May, will see CollectiveCrunch working with the Oregon State University College of Forestry to compare data provided by carbon measurement tools under different forest management scenarios.
The new partnership will see the university use the ‘Linda Planet’ software Wood Central covered in April 2023.
This tool observes and records shifts in forest biodiversity and carbon sequestration instantly, allowing foresters to oversee ecosystems more proficiently and resourcefully.
According to Rolf Schmitz, co-founder of CollectiveCrunch:
“Our goal is to change the world’s understanding of forests by providing the most accurate, scalable and timely forest analytics possible.”
The technology will, for the first time, uncover the true scale of biodiversity loss. According to Rolf Schmitz:
“The dramatic biodiversity loss in the forestry ecosystem is a serious global challenge. Linda Planet provides continuous visibility into the forest status and timely assessment of disturbances.”
But it’s not just about the loss of biodiversity but also the increased resilience of forests.
CollectiveCrunch is a solutions provider approved by Verra, which operates standards in environmental and social markets, including the world’s leading carbon crediting program, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program.
In April 2022, Verra signed a MoU with FSC International.
- For more information about the technology, visit the CollectCrunch website.