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Automation of the Acorn Scarification Process as a Contribution to Sustainable Forest Management. Case Study: Common Oak

1
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics, Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering, AGH University of Science and Technology, Al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
2
Faculty of Forestry, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Al. 29 Listopada 46, 31-425 Kraków, Poland
3
Industrial Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Przemyslowy Instytut Maszyn Rolniczych (PIMR), ul. Starolecka 31, 60-963 Poznan, Poland
4
Faculty of Production and Power Engineering, University of Agriculture in Krakow, ul. Balicka 116B, 30-149 Kraków, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122276
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
The basic principle of silviculture is the rational use of natural regeneration. The acceleration and equalisation of seed germination and an increase of the field seed germination ability are affected by seed scarification, which results in the destruction or weakening of the seed cover. Acorn scarification is performed manually, in the standing position, most often in adapted work stations, whose geometry is adjusted by the staff to their own anthropometric dimensions. An added value of acorn scarification consists in the ability to visually assess the health status of the cotyledons visible on the cross-section, making it possible to infer the potential use of a seed for sowing. However, due to the scope and duration of the activities involved, manual scarification is a process that is monotonous and physically as well as psychologically tiring for its performer. Automating of this process allows for effective replacement of human labour. The results obtained from the use of the vision system designed to determine the length and orientation of acorns may be considered satisfactory. The implementation of the seed orientation detection algorithm using the Harris detector was 90% accurate. Studies and analyses have shown that the process of acorn scarification has a positive effect on the later improvement of uniformity and acceleration of seedling emergence. In the case of seeds subjected to scarification, 83% of the acorns germinated within 4 to 6 weeks after sowing. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable forestry; seedling; acorn; scarification; automatic device sustainable forestry; seedling; acorn; scarification; automatic device
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Tadeusiewicz, R.; Tylek, P.; Adamczyk, F.; Kiełbasa, P.; Jabłoński, M.; Pawlik, P.; Piłat, A.; Walczyk, J.; Szczepaniak, J.; Juliszewski, T.; Szaroleta, M. Automation of the Acorn Scarification Process as a Contribution to Sustainable Forest Management. Case Study: Common Oak. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2276.

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