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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

In managed forests, windstorm disturbances reduce the yield of timber by imposing the costs of unscheduled clear-cutting or thinning operations. Hyrcanian forests are affected by permanent winds, with more than 100 km/h which cause damage forest trees and in result of the tree harvesting and gap creation in forest stands, many trees failure accidents happen annually. Using machine learning approaches, we aimed to compare the multi-layer perceptron (MLP) neural network, radial basis function neural network (RBFNN) and support vector machine (SVM) models for identifying susceptible trees in windstorm disturbances. Therefore, we recorded 15 variables in 600 sample plots which are divided into two categories: 1. Stand variables and 2.Tree variables. We developed the tree failure model (TFM) by artificial intelligence techniques such as MLP, RBFNN, and SVM. The MLP model represents the highest accuracy of target trees classification in training (100%), test (93.3%) and all data sets (97.7%). The values of the mean of trees height, tree crown diameter, target tree height are prioritized respectively as the most significant inputs which influence tree susceptibility in windstorm disturbances. The results of MLP modeling defined TFMmlp as a comparative impact assessment model in susceptible tree identification in Hyrcanian forests where the tree failure is in result of the susceptibility of remained trees after wood harvesting. The TFMmlp is applicable in Hyrcanian forest management planning for wood harvesting to decrease the rate of tree failure after wood harvesting and a tree cutting plan could be modified based on designed environmental decision support system tool to reduce the risk of trees failure in wind circulations.

Jahani Ali, Saffariha Maryam

2021-Jan-13