A recent study by researchers at the University of Maine suggests that artificial intelligence could be a cost-effective and energy-efficient tool to monitor and manage Maine’s forests. Researchers from the university, in collaboration with the University of Vermont, used the University of Maine’s Wireless Sensor Networks laboratory to devise a way that artificial intelligence and machine learning could be used to assist soil moisture monitoring practices. Monitoring soil conditions can typically be a time-consuming job, with soil conditions changing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Forest management practices have relied on expensive monitoring systems that were not adequate to assess soil quality on a large scale, according to Aaron Weiskittel, the director of the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests. …The new software can learn to react to environmental and network conditions, and report only the data points that are most necessary to generating meaningful information about forest health.