Thünen Atlas

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How is land use changing in Germany? Where do we find the most dairy cows? Which trees are common in German forests and which rare? How much carbon is stored in forest floors? We, at the Thünen Institute provide detailed answers to these and other questions from our compilations and evaluations of data on agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

Reliable data is the basis for trend analysis and policy advice. The Thünen Institute collects most of this data: in our own monitoring programs and with cooperating partners. We also draw upon other data, such as agricultural structural surveys, agricultural statistics, and geo-referenced land use data.

One problem we often face is, however, that at the large-scale, for example the community level, access to data is restricted. This is why the Thünen Institute developed an estimation method combined with a comprehensive data collection on the basis of which trends in land use and animal husbandry can be described up to the community level. The results of the project “Agricultural Atlas” are illustrated in three map collections on agricultural usage.  

Four further map collections provide insight in the various topics of forestry monitoring and research. The maps on wood supplies and carbon storage in German forests are based on monitoring programs carried out in cooperation with the federal states.  

As in the case of climatic water balances, these maps are provided on the level of “growing areas”. Growing areas are rural spaces with comparably good growth conditions; particularly valuable for spatial presentations of forest growth as well as material and water flows in forests. The maps for the hunting routes are, in contrast, done at the county level and include all hunting areas including forest, open land, and water bodies.

Maps on forests and forest use

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Wood growth, wood supply, and wood use in Germany
The data from the German Forestry Inventory shows a clear trend. There are more birches and other deciduous trees and fewer spruces and pines. Our maps show how the forests look and how they are developing.
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Carbon storage in forest floors
With the data of the Forest Condition Survey it is for the first time possible to convey a regional overview of carbon supply in forest floors and its changes.
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Hunting routes 2010/11 to 2013/14 by county
On the basis of the data on hunting routes it is possible to draw conclusions on the presence of wild animals as well as their development in Germany. Increasingly this data also plays a role in the discussion about preventing automobile accidents with wild animals.
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Climatic water balances: indicators for drought stress
The meteorological dryness can be characterized with the help of climatic water balances and their usable water offering. Our maps show the development from the 1960s to today, as well as a prognosis for the future.

Involved Institutes