A forest dynamics simulation software for managers and researchers


On 18 September 2019 at the University of Masuku (USTM) in Franceville, and on 20 September 2019 at the Leet Dorian Hotel in Libreville, two information and training workshops were held on the use of a software, DafSim, to simulate the dynamics of natural forests.

This software, built as part of the DynAfFor and P3FAC projects financed by the French Fund for the World Environment and the French Development Agency, is based on forest dynamics monitoring systems installed in various countries in the region, and more recently in Gabon under the concession of the CEB Precious Woods company.

Based on information collected on devices on which trees of different species are monitored for growth, mortality and recruitment, a model and simulator contained in the DafSim software were built. This software makes it possible to digitally reproduce the evolution of trees over time and to estimate indicators essential to managers: numbers, basal area, volume, biomass, diametric structure, number of large trees potentially exploitable, etc. All species can be tracked, including species of particular interest to the user such as commercial species.

Classroom work (@Alain Souza)

This software makes it possible to show what will become of the forest, or the species of trees that constitute it, according to the exploitation that is practiced there: species and number of trees exploited, size of these trees, rotation duration adopted. Forecasts can be made over several successive rotations, thus making it possible to observe in the medium and long term whether the simulated operation is sustainable. Such software can be useful for forest managers by allowing them to easily test the short, medium and long-term impact of operating rules validated as part of management plans. It can also be useful for teachers and students, highlighting the quantity and quality of information that is needed to build such tools and the different ways in which they could be developed.

Classroom work (@Alain Souza)