A decision support tool for windthrow hazard assessment and prevention

S.B. Mickovski, A. Stokes, L.P.H. van Beek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Windthrow hazard of single trees and tree stands is assessed using a Decision Support System (DSS) created using ConFound©, a shell originally created for usage in geotechnics. Expert data consisting of (un)successful practices in windthrow prevention and mitigation, together with data available in the literature were combined to produce rules that will offer help and advice to end-users.

The factors influencing tree stability are reviewed and discussed, together with the approach taken when constructing the frames of this DSS. The adaptation of windthrow hazard assessment methods from the UK and British Columbia to suit a user-friendly application are explained.

The structure of the knowledge base on which the DSS is based is also explained in detail, together with the hierarchy of the project specific information that the user must enter in order to receive advice on the hazards pertaining to the site in question, as well as on the ways of their mitigation.

The practical application of this DSS is illustrated through appropriate case studies, and the output is discussed. The target audience and the areas of application are reviewed and strategies for further development in this area are also suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-76
Number of pages13
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number1–3
Early online date22 Jun 2005
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2005


  • SDSS
  • tree stability
  • expert system
  • uprooting
  • biomechanics
  • forestry


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