Reconstructing Central European forest disturbance dynamics using Landsat


The project aims at reconstructing the historic (1985-2015) forest disturbance dynamics of central European forests by combining Landsat time series analysis and statistical modeling. The project is a collaborative project between the Geomatics Lab of Humboldt-University of Berlin and the Institute of Silviculture at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna.

Figure 1: A Landsat Tasseled Cap (TC) image before (A) and after (B) a bark beetle outbreak in the Bavarian Forest national park. Changes in TC wetness indicate substantial but spatial variable changes in forest structure resulting from bark beetle induced tree mortality (C)

Project members and collaborators

Cornelius Senf (PI)
Dirk Pflugmacher, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Rupert Seidl, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna
Yang Zhiqiang, Oregon State University


German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), with funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under REA grant agreement Nr. 605728 (P.R.I.M.E. – Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience)

Project outputs

Senf, C., Pflugmacher, D., Zhiqiang, Y., Sebald, S., Knorrn, J., Neumann, M., Hostert, P., and Seidl, R. (accepted) Canopy mortality has doubled across Europe’s temperate forests in the last three decades. Nature Communications.

Senf, C. and Seidl R. (2018) Natural disturbances are spatially diverse but temporally synchronized across temperate forest landscapes in Europe. Global Change Biology, 24, 1201-1211.

Oeser, J., Pflugmacher, D., Senf, C., Heurich, M., and Hostert, P. (2017) Using intra-annual Landsat time series for attributing forest disturbance agents in Central Europe. Forests, 8, 251.

Senf, C., Pflugmacher, D., Hostert, P., and Seidl, R. (2017) Using Landsat time series for characterizing forest disturbance dynamics in the coupled human and natural systems of Central Europe. ISPRS Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 130, 453-463.

Senf, C., Seidl, R., and Hostert, P. (2017) Remote sensing of forest insect disturbances: current state and future directions. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geo-information, 60, 49-60.