Technical assessment of forest road network using Backmund and surface distribution algorithm in a hardwood forest of Hyrcanian zone

Aidin Parsakhoo


Aim of study: Corrected Backmund and Surface Distribution Algorithms (SDA) for analysis of forest road network are introduced and presented in this study. Research was carried out to compare road network performance between two districts in a hardwood forest.

Area of study: Shast Kalateh forests, Iran.

Materials and methods: In uncorrected Backmund algorithm, skidding distance was determined by calculating road density and spacing and then it was designed as Potential Area for Skidding Operations (PASO) in ArcGIS software. To correct this procedure, the skidding constraint areas were taken using GPS and then removed from PASO. In SDA, shortest perpendicular distance from geometrical center of timber compartments to road was measured at both districts.

Main results: In corrected Backmund, forest openness in district I and II were 70.3% and 69.5%, respectively. Therefore, there was little difference in forest openness in the districts based on the uncorrected Backmund. In SDA, the mean distance from geometrical center of timber compartments to the roads of districts I and II were 199.45 and 149.31 meters, respectively. Forest road network distribution in district II was better than that of district I relating to SDA.

Research highlights: It was concluded that uncorrected Backmund was not precise enough to assess forest road network, while corrected Backmund could exhibit a real PASO by removing skidding constraints. According to presented algorithms, forest road network performance in district II was better than district I.


technical assessment; forest road network; corrected Backmund; skidding distance; surface distribution algorithm.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2016252-07815