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Institute of

WO Forest Ecosystems


Forest Monitoring

Lead Institute WO Institute of Forest Ecosystems

Forest are exposed to multiple environmental effects. Air pollutants, climate change and pathogens may impact vitality and productivity of our forests. Thus, an extensive and permanent monitoring of our forests are needed. Novel methods and research results require an ongoing further development of the monitoring procedures.

Background and Objective

Due to the amendment of the Federal Forest Act in 2010 and an additional regulation in 2013, the federal authorities and those of the German 'Laender' are obliged to estabish and run a concerted forest monitoring. The co-ordination task of the Thünen Institut are aimed at perform a nation-wide monitoring with the parts forest condition survey (WZE, Level I) and intensive forest monitoring (Level II) according to standardised methods.


In close collaboration with the authorities of the German 'Laender' standardized protocols for (1) plot selection, (2) instrumentation parameter selection, and (3) methods for measurements and analyses will be developed. The analyses, the quality assurance of the assessments on the national scale will be done by the Thünen Institute as well as the centralised data management. Another important task is the integration of the national data and activities in the international monitoring context (ICP Forests).


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    Martinez del Castillo E, Zang C, Buras A, Hacket-Pain A, Esper J, Serrano-Notivoli R, Hartl C, Weigel R, Klesse S, Resco de Dios V, Scharnweber T, Dorado-Linan I, Maaten-Theunissen M van der, Maaten ECD van der, Jump A, Mikac S, Banzragch B-E, Beck W, Cavin L, Claessens H, et al (2022) Climate-change-driven growth decline of European beech forests. Comm Biol 5:163, DOI:10.1038/s42003-022-03107-3

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    Bolte A, Knapp N, Oehmichen K, Riedel T, Sanders TGM, Schnell S, Wellbrock N (2022) Digitalisierung im nationalen Waldmonitoring. AFZ Der Wald 77(5):44-46

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    George J-P, Sanders TGM, Timmermann V, Potocic N, Lang M (2022) European-wide forest monitoring substantiate the neccessity for a joint conservation strategy to rescue European ash species (Fraxinus spp.). Sci Rep 12:4764, DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-08825-6

  4. 3

    Bolte A, Ammer C, Kleinschmit J, Kroiher F, Krüger I, Meyer P, Michler B, Müller-Kroehling S, Sanders TGM, Sukopp U (2022) Nationales Biodiversitätsmonitoring im Wald. Natur Landsch 97(8):398-401, DOI:10.19217/NuL2022-08-04

  5. 4

    Bolte A, Block J, Eichhorn J, Sanders TGM, Wellbrock N (2019) Chapter 12: Sustainable use and development of forests and forest soils: A resume. Ecol Stud 237:355-374, DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-15734-0_12

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    Schmitz A, Sanders TGM, Bolte A, Bussotti F, Dirnböck T, Johnson J, Penuelas J, Pollastrini M, Prescher A-K, Sardans J, Verstraeten A, de Vries W (2019) Responses of forest ecosystems in Europe to decreasing nitrogen deposition. Environ Pollut 244:980-994, DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2018.09.101

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