Skip to main content
[Translate to English:]
[Translate to English:]
Institute of

WO Forest Ecosystems

The National Forest Soil Inventory (NFSI)

The National Forest Soil Inventory (NFSI) enables nationwide and science-based statements about the condition and changes in our forest soils. The third NFSI is a central component of environmental forest monitoring in Germany. Soil, stand and vegetation data will be collected on an 8 x 8 km grid at 1900 sampling points over the next 3 years.

In addition to the state of the soil, the NFSI also examines vegetation, tree stocks and the nutritional status of the forests using standardized methods. It takes place about every 15 years and is a joint project of the federal government and state authorities. The federal states collect the data, the Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems coordinates the NFSI and evaluates the nationwide data. The field assessment of the first and second inventory took place from 1987 to 1992 and 2006 to 2008, respectively. Recently, the third inventory has started.

After several years of laboratory analyzes and evaluations, the results will be published in 2028 in the federal report on the third NFSI.

A sub-sample of 400 plots is part of ICP Forests (16x16 km grid). At the same time, these are sample points of the forest condition survey (WZE). The NFSI uses cross-nationally harmonized methods for sampling and analysis, which are published in a working manual (see Publications and Downloads).

Objectives

The third NFSI will provide reliable, area-representative and nationally comparable contributions to the following questions:

  • Sustainable forest management, e.g. the creation of a comprehensive map of nutrient availability and locations worth liming, derivation of the choice of tree species based on soil types, effects of forest conversion on soil biodiversity, assessment of quality and quantity of drinking and groundwater
  • Changes in soil properties in the period between the first, second and third surveys
  • Cause and effect between environmental influences and forest condition
  • Carbon storage and water balance
  • Impact of climate change and other environmental factors on soil condition
  • Risk assessment and derivation of measures, e.g. derivation of critical limits for malnutrition, clean air measures with regard to nitrogen inputs, calculation of heavy metal values
  • Decisive information about the nutrient situation and the pollution of the forest soil.

Time schedule

The inventory is conducted from 2022 to 2024 and covers around 1900 plots all over Germany. This is followed by several years of laboratory analyzes and evaluations. The results will be published in the federal report on the third NFSI in 2028.

About the first and second NFSI

In the course of the forest damage discussion, a nationwide soil condition survey was established in addition to crown condition monitoring at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s.

The outdoor recordings of the first NFSI took place from 1989 to 1992. The results are summarized in the first federal report (1996).

The second NFSI was collected from 2006 to 2008. It was now possible for the first time to obtain an area-representative overview of changes in the condition of the forest soil over a period of around 15 years. The range of investigations was significantly expanded and a field manual was agreed upon between the federal and state governments in advance. The report on the second NFSI was published in 2016.

Please find the results and manuals under Publications and Downloads.

Publications and Downloads

The publications of the federal states can be found on the website of the federal-state working group on environmental monitoring forest.

The publications of the federal states on the first and second NFSI can be found on the website of the federal-state working group on environmental monitoring forest.

Projects

Beprobung von Humusauflage und Oberboden nach BZE-Methodik in drei sächsischen Testgebieten.
RAVESA I - Sampling based survey of the soil conditions of forest sites

Development of a method to estimate the condition of forest soil properties by a sampling based survey and by regionalisation.

More
Humusaufnahmen auf Transekten in sächsischen Wäldern.
RAVESA II - method to estimate the condition of forest soil properties of waterlogged soils

Development of a method to estimate the condition of forest soil properties of waterlogged soils

More
Durch abgestorbene Biomasse, wie z.B. Laubstreu, akkumuliert in Waldböden Kohlenstoff, der  durch chemische und biologische Prozesse ab- und umgebaut wird, wodurch er kurz bis langfristig gebunden werden kann.
Soil Carbon in Forest Soils

Organic carbon stocks and their changes in forest soils

More
Entnahme von Proben der organischen Auflage mittels Stechzylinder an einem der 8 Satelliten der BZE. 
Standardmäßig erfolgte die Probenahme an 8 Entnahmepunkten die ausgehend von einem zentralen Bodenprofil in allen acht Haupt- und Nebenhimmelsrichtungen auf einer Kreisfläche von 10m liegen. Je Auflagehorizont bzw. Tiefenstufe wird eine Mischprobe gebildet um den Effekt kleinräumiger Variabilität  möglichst minimal zu halten.
National Forest Soil Inventory in Germany - Data quality and data management

National Forest Soil Inventory in Germany – Data harmonization, evaluation and quality management

More
Soil profile
National Forest Soil Inventory

The BZE characterises the condition of forest soils, identifies changes in forest condition since the first inventory and answers any new research questions, e.g., about carbon inventory.

More
Leben an stehendemTotholz
Harmonized stand inventory on National Soil Inventory: stand structure, dead wood and biodiversity

Soil characteristics and forest conditions are direct associated. With the harmonized stand inventory standardized information of forest growth, deadwood and forest regeneration are collected for the first time on Soil Inventory Plots in Germany.

More
[Translate to English:]
Carbon and nutrient storage of forest sites

Carbon and nutrient storage of forest sites within the forest monitoring (BZE) of Rhineland-Palatinate

More
National Forest Soil Inventory

The BZE characterises the condition of forest soils, identifies changes in forest condition since the first inventory and answers any new research questions, e.g., about carbon inventory.

More
Validation of the national modelling of critical loads

In this project, denitrification and the weathering were evaluated in terms of the critical loads calculation basis.

More
Validation of the national modelling of critical loads

In this project, denitrification and the weathering were evaluated in terms of the critical loads calculation basis.

More
Measuring point with trenching for analysis of soil respiration without root respiration of the trees, Ore Mountains, Saxony
Holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils

Improve and harmonize methods for estimating soil carbon and nitrogen stocks and fluxes in relation to forest management practices, land use history, and their influence on greenhouse gas balance in Europe.

More
Automatisches Haubensystem zur Messung der THG Emissionen in Waldmooren
Messung von THG-Emissionen von Waldmooren

Zusammen mit dem Zentrum für Agrarlandforschung (ZALF) werden an zwei wiedervernässten Waldmooren mit Hilfe von automatischen Haubensystemen Treibhausgasemissionen gemessen.

More

Picture gallery

Contact

Institute of Forest Ecosystems
Head of Soil protection and forest health, Contact person National Forest Soil Survey and Crown Condition Survey
Scroll to top