Recent Applications of Artificial Neural Networks in Forest Resource Management: An Overview

Changhui Peng and Xuezhi Wen

Making good decisions for adaptive forest management has become increasingly difficult. New artificial intelligence (AI) technology allows knowledge processing to be included in decision-support tool. The application of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), known as Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP), to predict the behaviours of nonlinear systems has become an attractive alternative to traditional statistical methods. This paper aims to provide an up-to-date synthesis of the use of ANN in forest resource management. Current ANN applications include: (1) forest land mapping and classification, (2) forest growth and dynamics modeling (3) spatial data analysis and modeling (4) plant disease dynamics modeling, and (5) climate change research. The advantages and disadvantages of using ANNs are discussed. Although the ANN applications are at an early stage, they have demonstrated potential as a useful tool for forest resource management.

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