Daniela Hohenstern
Institute of Forest Ecosystems

Alfred-Möller-Straße 1, Haus 41/42
16225 Eberswalde
Phone: +49 3334 3820 300
Fax: +49 3334 3820 354

Contact persons for

Greenhouse gas inventory for forests



Forests can mitigate climate change by the long-term carbon sequestration in forest stands and soils. However, a loss of carbon in forest biomass and soils have adverse effects. Thus, we need a thorough inventory of the greenhouse gas balance of forests in order to assess the role of forests and forestry in climate protection.

Background and Objective

Due to the ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto protocol, Germany is obliged to report yearly of the effects of land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) on the greenhouse gas balance.


Carbon sequestration or loss in forests is detected mainly in five pools. In stock, these are the above-ground biomass, below-ground biomass and dead wood. In forest soils the litter and mineral soil are recorded. Main sources of information for this is the National Forest Inventory (NFI) and the National Soil Inventory (BZE). The inventory data for the change of growing stock are converted into carbon stocks with biomass expansion factors. These calculations will be updated continuously through the use of the latest research results and other data sources. The soil data for the change in the carbon stock are derived via models for the spatial transmission of the data of BZE. There is also a calculation for emissions of other greenhouse gases such as CH4 or N20, for example, from forest fires and changes in the water balance of bog forest.

Preliminary Results

The carbon storage in German forests has increased in the last 20 years. A yearly carbon sequestration rate of 52 m tons of CO2 eqivalents indicates the role of forests as a major sink for carbon dioxid from the atmosphere. In the year 2012 the forests stored 993 m t C in the biomass above-ground, 156 m t C in the biomass below-ground, and 20 m t C in the dead wood debris. In the organic layer and the mineral soil in addition 850 m t C were found. The recent total storage of more than 2 bn t C in forests throughout Germany exceeds the value from 1990 by approximately 300 m t.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners


Permanent task 1.2001

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing


Results 1 - 5 of 9

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  1. Stümer W, Oehmichen K, Dunger K, Steuk J (2013) Chapter 11: Supplementary information required under Article 7, Paragraph 1 of the Kyoto Protocol. Clim Change 2013/9:662-687
  2. Freibauer A, Dunger K, Gensior A, Riedel T, Laggner A, Stümer W (2013) Chapter 19.5: Other detailed methodological descriptions for the source/sink category "Land-use change and forestry" (5). Clim Change 2013/9:787-809
  3. Freibauer A, Dunger K, Gensior A, Riedel T, Laggner A, Laggner A, Stümer W (2013) Chapter 7.1: Land use, land use change and forestry: Overview (CRF Sector 5). Clim Change 2013/9:471-497
  4. Dunger K, Stümer W, Oehmichen K, Riedel T, Ziche D, Grüneberg E, Wellbrock N (2013) Chapter 7.2: Land use, land use change and forestry: Forest land (5.A). Clim Change 2013/9:498-547
  5. Osterburg B, Rüter S, Freibauer A, Witte T de, Elsasser P, Kätsch S, Leischner B, Paulsen HM, Rock J, Röder N, Sanders J, Schweinle J, Steuk J, Stichnothe H, Stümer W, Welling J, Wolff A (2013) Handlungsoptionen für den Klimaschutz in der deutschen Agrar- und Forstwirtschaft. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 158 p, Thünen Rep 11, DOI:10.3220/REP_11_2013
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 1811 kb

Results 1 - 5 of 9

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