Environmental forest monitoring

Politics, industry, administrative bodies and the public need reliable and up-to-date data on forests. This need for information is met by the National Forest Inventory and the surveys on environmental forest monitoring. 

The National Forest Inventory

The National Forest Inventory informs about the condition and the development of forests in Germany. Every ten years, inventory teams measure forest trees at permanent sample points and collect data on many other features. The previous years’ management can be derived from that data, for instance based on details about the area of woodland, the tree species diversity, the age structure of the forests, the timber stock and the logging operations. The National Forest Inventory is coordinated by the Thünen Institute, which, together with experts from the Länder, further develops the inventory procedure, organises the data management and evaluates the inventory.

Surveys on environmental forest monitoring

The surveys on environmental forest monitoring take place in systematic sampling networks covering the forests throughout the Federal Republic of Germany and on the areas of intensive forest monitoring. The surveys in systematic sampling networks include

The Forest Condition Survey provides annual data on the crown condition, which is considered an indicator for the health of the forest. The Forest Soil Survey takes place at longer intervals. The first was conducted from 1987 to 1993, the second from 2006 to 2008. The next is planned for 2023 to 2024. The Forest Soil Survey determines the condition of and the changes in forest soils, vegetation, crown condition and forest nutrition.

A comprehensive report on the situation of German forests and forestry can be found in the Federal Government's Forest Report ("Waldbericht" in German only). According to a resolution of the German Bundestag in 2007, the report is to be presented once in every parliamentary term (last presented in 2017).

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