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Thematic Series

National Forest Inventories – informing past, present and future decisions

This collection is a Thematic Series of the journal Forest Ecosystems.

Edited by: Erkki Tomppo, Ron Mcroberts, Clara Anton Fernandez, Iciar Alberdi and Johannes Breidenbach

In 2019, it is 100 years ago since the first National Forest Inventory (NFI) was established in Norway. The establishment of the NFI in 1919 was motivated by a fear of over-exploitation of timber resources. Just a few years later – in the 1920’s - similar monitoring programs were to follow in Finland, Sweden and the USA. Later, debates on acid rain in the 1980’s were a trigger for initiating NFI’s in central Europe. In the recent years, climate change (REDD+) has triggered the establishment of new NFI’s, especially in developing countries while most developed countries now have regular NFI programs.

One hundred years ago, the primary motivation of establishing NFI’s was to obtain an overview of timber resources. Since then, NFI’s have gradually evolved to provide answers to a much broader range of issues. While monitoring timber resources and sustainability is still a major component, NFI’s today also monitor forest damage, carbon sequestration as well as biodiversity indices and many other ecosystem services of landscapes in general. Currently, NFI’s provides data vital to decision support at national, regional and even local scales, to international reporting under the Climate Convention, and to international forest health monitoring programs. In line with the widening of objectives during the past century, techniques, sampling designs and resources in the NFI’s have evolved to be able to provide relevant answers to the society.

Maintaining a National Forest Inventory requires a national commitment to continuity and continuous adaptation to new developments in technology, analytical tools and estimation methods. This Thematic Series comprises articles based on abstracts submitted to the conference "A century of national forest inventories – informing past, present and future decisions", 19-23 May 2019 in Sundvollen, Norway ( Independent submissions are, however, also accepted and included.

Published articles in this collection

  1. In 2019, 100 years had elapsed since the first National Forest Inventory (NFI) was established in Norway. Motivated by a fear of over-exploitation of timber resources, NFIs today enable informed policy making ...

    Authors: Johannes Breidenbach, Ronald E. McRoberts, Iciar Alberdi, Clara Antón-Fernández and Erkki Tomppo
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2021 8:36
  2. National forest inventory and forest monitoring systems are more important than ever considering continued global degradation of trees and forests. These systems are especially important in a country like Bang...

    Authors: Matieu Henry, Zaheer Iqbal, Kristofer Johnson, Mariam Akhter, Liam Costello, Charles Scott, Rashed Jalal, Md. Akhter Hossain, Nikhil Chakma, Olaf Kuegler, Hossain Mahmood, Rajib Mahamud, Mohammad Raqibul Hasan Siddique, Khaled Misbahuzzaman, Mohammad Main Uddin, Mohammed Al Amin…
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2021 8:12
  3. The age of forest stands is critical information for forest management and conservation, for example for growth modelling, timing of management activities and harvesting, or decisions about protection areas. H...

    Authors: Johannes Schumacher, Marius Hauglin, Rasmus Astrup and Johannes Breidenbach
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:60
  4. We contrast a new continuous approach (CA) for estimating plot-level above-ground biomass (AGB) in forest inventories with the current approach of estimating AGB exclusively from the tree-level AGB predicted f...

    Authors: Christoph Kleinn, Steen Magnussen, Nils Nölke, Paul Magdon, Juan Gabriel Álvarez-González, Lutz Fehrmann and César Pérez-Cruzado
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:57
  5. The local pivotal method (LPM) utilizing auxiliary data in sample selection has recently been proposed as a sampling method for national forest inventories (NFIs). Its performance compared to simple random sam...

    Authors: Minna Räty, Mikko Kuronen, Mari Myllymäki, Annika Kangas, Kai Mäkisara and Juha Heikkinen
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:54
  6. In the early twentieth century, forestry was one of the most important sectors in Norway and an agitated discussion about the perceived decline of forest resources due to over-exploitation was ongoing. To base...

    Authors: Johannes Breidenbach, Aksel Granhus, Gro Hylen, Rune Eriksen and Rasmus Astrup
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:46
  7. The aim of this study was to construct a nationwide stand age model by using National Forest Inventory (NFI) data and nationwide airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. In plantation forestry, age is usually known...

    Authors: Matti Maltamo, Hermanni Kinnunen, Annika Kangas and Lauri Korhonen
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:44
  8. The increasing availability of remotely sensed data has recently challenged the traditional way of performing forest inventories, and induced an interest in model-based inference. Like traditional design-based...

    Authors: Svetlana Saarela, André Wästlund, Emma Holmström, Alex Appiah Mensah, Sören Holm, Mats Nilsson, Jonas Fridman and Göran Ståhl
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:43
  9. Forests are an important component of the global carbon (C) cycle and can be net sources or sinks of CO2, thus mitigating or exacerbating the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. While forest produc...

    Authors: Oleksandra Hararuk, Werner A. Kurz and Markus Didion
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:36
  10. Scenario analyses that evaluate management effects on the long-term provision and sustainability of forest ecosystem services and biodiversity (ESB) also need to account for disturbances. The objectives of thi...

    Authors: Christian Temperli, Clemens Blattert, Golo Stadelmann, Urs-Beat Brändli and Esther Thürig
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:27
  11. Large area forest inventories often use regular grids (with a single random start) of sample locations to ensure a uniform sampling intensity across the space of the surveyed populations. A design-unbiased est...

    Authors: Steen Magnussen, Ronald E. McRoberts, Johannes Breidenbach, Thomas Nord-Larsen, Göran Ståhl, Lutz Fehrmann and Sebastian Schnell
    Citation: Forest Ecosystems 2020 7:17