Institute of Forest Ecosystems
Alfred-Möller-Straße 1, Haus 41/42
Phone: +49 3334 3820 300
Fax: +49 3334 3820 354
Preparation, conduction and evaluation of the German National Forest Inventory as well as processing of the results.
Every ten years we measure and count a sample of trees in the forest. Bund and Länder (federal states) require this data for the design of forest policy. The data is also used for strategic investment and location decisions in the timber industry.
The German National Forest Inventory is a statutory duty under the Federal Forest Act § 41a. It should provide an overview of the large-scale forest conditions and forest production potentials. The inventory was already conducted three times: 1987, 2002 and 2012. Since 2010, a repeat is set every ten years. The German National Forest Inventory is a central database over the forest in Germany. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture commissioned the Thünen-Institute of Forest Ecosystems with the central inventory management. This includes the development of the inventory method, the coordination of data collection by the federal states, the compilation and analysis of data, as well as the processing of the results.
The German National Forest Inventory is a terrestrial large-scale inventory on a sample basis. The sample points are evenly distributed in a systematic grid over the whole of Germany. With the current inventory from 2012 60 Inventory troops have surveyed approximately 420.000 sample trees on 60.000 sample points and collected many other data. For data collection, we have provided a special software available to the troops. The troops have transferred the data over the Internet to a central database. We analysed the data in various ways and the results are stored in a result database, which is publicly available on the Internet to bwi.info.
How much forest is there in Germany? How does it look like? How has it changed? How much wood is used and how much is regrowing?
The forest area is stable. Forest conversion and afforestation are balanced.
The growing stock has continued to increase, because the forest owners have used less wood than is regrown.
There are more deciduous trees, more old and thick trees and more dead wood. These are favourable conditions for forest biodiversity.
The area of spruce has decreased because spruce stands which were cleared by logging or storm loss are often afforested with deciduous trees from which more natural and stable forests should develop. On the other hand, however, a future shortage of spruce wood is thus initiated.
Further results on the Internet at www.bundeswaldinventur.de and bwi.info