Institute of

Forest Ecosystems


Biodiversity in forests is evolving. Our forest monitoring programmes and inventories provide data and fathom what causes the change.

Germany is a country rich in forests. From the seaside to the mountains, from young to old grown, from intensive to no management, from dry to wet conditions… forests differ in their appearance and composition. In total, they offer a habitat for up to 14000 animal and 6000 plant species. We want to protect this richness. How do air pollution, landscape dissection, lowering of the groundwater table, climate change, and one-sided management practices affect biodiversity? A study of the plain facts helps to assess the current state and development of biodiversity. Without facts, there would be no early warning systems for new problems, no vision, no guidance, and no conservation measures.

We take an interdisciplinary approach and use data collected as part of inventory and monitoring networks:

  • National forest inventory (BWI)
  • Crown condition survey (WZE) 
  • National forest soil survey (BZE) 
  • Intensive forest monitoring (Level II)
  • Wild life information system

to describe biodiversity across space and time. We devise and observe indicators that are typical for given species (groups) and develop procedures to assess how land use affects biodiversity.