Institute of

International Forestry and Forest Economics


Anna Frerck
Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics

Leuschnerstraße 91
21031 Hamburg-Bergedorf
Phone: +49 40 739 62 301
Fax: +49 40 739 62 399

Two new publications on ecosystem services of forests in Germany and their economic value


Forests do not only produce timber, but they provide a multitude of additional services to society and the environment. This seems a well-known fact ¬– however, concrete information is thin on the ground when it comes to specifying how much our society benefits from such services in economic terms, and what interactions exist between forests and the economy.

(© Lydia Rosenkranz)

The international TEEB-initiative has spotlighted this „Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity”. Focussing specifically at Germany and its forests, two articles have recently been published in the journal ‚Ecosystem Services‘, which present the results of the German contribution to TEEB from a scientific point of view.

The first of these articles focuses at climate policy and the respective role of the various land use forms. Forests have an exceptional position here: actually, they are a sink rather than a source of carbon in Germany. The potential for carbon sequestration, however, is already largely exploited by current forest management. Remaining potentials for increasing carbon sequestration do not always harmonise with nature protection goals.

The second article puts ecosystem services of forests to the fore. Based at current knowledge, it quantifies and assesses which ecosystem services forests provide especially in the rural areas of Germany, what these services are worth in economic terms to forest enterprises and society, and how the provision of these services can be safeguarded and, possibly, be increased.

  • Wüstemann H, Bonn A, Albert C, Bertram C, Biber-Freudenberger L, Dehnhardt A, Döring R, Elsasser P, Hartje V, Mehl D, Kantelhardt J, Rehdanz K, Schaller L, Scholz M, Thrän D, Witing F, Hansjürgens B (2017): Synergies and trade-offs between nature conservation and climate policy: Insights from the “Natural Capital Germany – TEEB DE” study. Ecosystem Services 24, page 187-199.
  • Bösch M, Elsasser P, Franz K, Schneider H, Lorenz M, Moning C, Olschewski R, Roedl A, Schröppel B, Weller P (2018): Forest Ecosystem Services in rural areas of Germany - insights from the national TEEB study. Ecosystem Services 31 Part A, page 77-83.