Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Review article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Continuous Cover Forestry and Remote Sensing: A Review of Knowledge Gaps, Challenges, and Potential Directions

Stoddart, Jaz; Suarez, Juan; Mason, William; Valbuena, Ruben


Purpose of ReviewContinuous cover forestry (CCF) is a sustainable management approach for forestry in which forest stands are manipulated to create irregular stand structures with varied species composition. This approach differs greatly from the traditional approaches of plantation-based forestry, in which uniform monocultures are maintained, and thus, traditional methods of assessment, such as productivity (yield class) calculations, are less applicable. This creates a need to identify new methods to succeed the old and be of use in operational forestry and research. By applying remote sensing techniques to CCF, it may be possible to identify novel solutions to the challenges introduced through the adoption of CCF.Recent FindingsThere has been a limited amount of work published on the applications of remote sensing to CCF in the last decade. Research can primarily be characterised as explorations of different methods to quantify the target state of CCF and monitor indices of stand structural complexity during transformation to CCF, using terrestrial and aerial data collection techniques.SummaryWe identify a range of challenges associated with CCF and outline the outstanding gaps within the current body of research in need of further investigation, including a need for the development of new inventory methods using remote sensing techniques. We identify methods, such as individual tree models, that could be applied to CCF from other complex, heterogenous forest systems and propose the wider adoption of remote sensing including information for interested parties to get started.


Remote sensing; Continuous cover forestry; Biomass estimation; Individual tree growth models; Forest inventory

Published in

Current Forestry Reports
2023, Volume: 9, number: 6, pages: 490-501

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Remote Sensing
    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)