UAV-supported forest regeneration: current trends, challenges and implications
Mehdi Aghai, Matthew
Pabodha Galgamuwa, G. A.
Pitumpe Arachchige, Pavithra S.
Dalla Corte, Ana Paula
Vieira Leite, Rodrigo
North Broadbent, Eben
Abdullah Bin Shorab, Mohammed
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Replanting trees helps with avoiding desertification, reducing the chances of soil erosion and flooding, minimizing the risks of zoonotic disease outbreaks, and providing ecosystem services and livelihood to the indigenous people, in addition to sequestering carbon dioxide for mitigating climate change. Consequently, it is important to explore new methods and technologies that are aiming to upscale and fast-track afforestation and reforestation (A/R) endeavors, given that many of the current tree planting strategies are not cost effective over large landscapes, and suffer from constraints associated with time, energy, manpower, and nursery-based seedling production. UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle)-supported seed sowing (UAVsSS) can promote rapid A/R in a safe, cost-effective, fast and environmentally friendly manner, if performed correctly, even in otherwise unsafe and/or inaccessible terrains, supplementing the overall manual planting efforts globally. In this study, we reviewed the recent literature on UAVsSS, to analyze the current status of the technology. Primary UAVsSS applications were found to be in areas of post-wildfire reforestation, mangrove restoration, forest restoration after degradation, weed eradication, and desert greening. Nonetheless, low survival rates of the seeds, future forest diversity, weather limitations, financial constraints, and seed-firing accuracy concerns were determined as major challenges to operationalization. Based on our literature survey and qualitative analysis, twelve recommendations—ranging from the need for publishing germination results to linking UAVsSS operations with carbon offset markets—are provided for the advancement of UAVsSS applications.
Is part ofRemote Sensing, 2021, vol. 13, núm. 13, p. 1-30
European research projects
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