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MfD: NASA to use data from Czech virgin forest

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Prague, Jan 9 (CTK) – The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will use the data from the Czech Zofinsky prales virgin forest within its project Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI), daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote on Tuesday.

With the help of satellites, the project is to measure how much carbon is deposited in individual types of forest.

NASA chose the Zofinsky prales for the calibration of the data from the scanners at the International Space Station, MfD writes.

In Zofinsky prales, scientists have explored the relationships between trees.

“The Zofinsky prales represents best the middle-level forests of continental Europe. Since we have the data on each of its trees, NASA has offered cooperation to us,” Tomas Vrska, from the Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Gardening (VUKOZ), told the paper.

“Thanks to this, it will be possible to make the calculations for the forests in the whole planet,” Vrska said.

The Zofinsky prales was founded 180 years ago, as the first reserve of this kind in continental Europe, MfD writes.

Zofinsky prales is situated in South Bohemia, near the border of Austria. Its area is 102 hectares of woodland.

A part of it has been observed in great detail since the 1970s.

In 1975, researcher Eduard Prusa conducted the first overall measurement of the tree layer, creating the first tree map.

Thanks to meticulous records and detailed mapping, Zofinsky prales is one of the unique areas on the global level.

In 1997, Prusa’s research was followed up by that of the VUKOZ. Its researchers collected the data for the fourth time last year, comparing them with the original ones, MfD writes.

Unlike Prusa, who measured all the trees with the diameter over 10 centimetres, at present the researchers observe the trees with the diameter over one centimetre.

Thanks to the multitude of the data and long-term results, a part of the virgin forest was placed on the ForestGeo list of a global network of research areas in 2012.

It covers all types of forest in the world, from the Equator to the woodland far in the North. Of them, NASA has selected model areas for its research into the movement of carbon in biological structures of the forest, MfD writes.

“GEDI is a project that is to explore how much carbon a forest is able to deposit and what is its capacity. In Europe, the ForestGEO includes another three forests. Unlike Zofinsky prales, their virgin forest continuity is interrupted. This is why the data from our area are unique,” Vrska, head of the VUKOZ forest ecology department, told the paper.

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