Institute of

Forest Ecosystems

National Forest Inventory (NFI)

The diameter at breast height measured by a special measuring tape is an important parameter.
The diameter at breast height measured by a special measuring tape is an important parameter. (© Christina Waitkus)

The National Forest Inventory provides sample-based data on status and development of Germany`s forests. Every ten years field crews measure trees on permanent plots and take many more parameters. From this data we caculate statistics on forest area, tree species diversity, the age structure of forests, growing stock and timber harvesting. Since 1995, we coordinate the scientific part of the NFI. In collaboration with experts of the Federal States we develop the inventory method, organise the data management and analyse the inventory.

As a central monitoring instrument the NFI provides the information needed to assess Germany's forests. This is the basis for decision-making in politics and economy. Concerning for example the challenges of climate change and the related question: What kind of forests do we need in the future? Another question is: How much wood can be used according to the principles of a sustainable forestry. Furthermore the data is an integral part of international reports such as the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Results of the Third National Forest Inventory are available on www.bundeswaldinventur.de and on our web portal bwi.info. In particular specialists can find a variety of results and visualise them in tables, graphs and maps.