The potential of European National Forest Inventories to harmonise stem quality estimation in European forests was identified despite considerable differences in existing national approaches.
Knowledge on stem quality and assortments structure in European forests is highly important for policy makers and the timber industry and also for carbon life cycle analysis due to the fact that different timber products have different end use and thus store carbon for different time periods. The study aim was to evaluate the potential of European National Forest Inventories (NFI) to objectively report on the stem quality in European forests in a harmonised manner. A comprehensive questionnaire was conducted as the first important step to evaluate the current status of stem quality assessment and assess the existing level of harmonisation. Direct stem quality assessment or classification is used in 19 out of 28 European NFIs. Only eight countries provide timber assortment estimates from their NFIs. In addition, different sampling strategies for stem quality assessment are used among NFIs. Tree parameters relevant for stem quality assessment on standing trees were identified for the purpose of harmonisation. Several methods towards harmonisation between European NFIs for the purpose of reporting on stem quality of European forests were suggested. Current European NFIs are not capable of reporting the stem quality of European forests in a harmonised manner at this stage and considerable efforts will need to be taken before the harmonised stem quality estimation can be prepared. However, the inquiry also revealed that there is a potential to develop the harmonised estimations in future.
Bosela M, Redmond J, Kučera M, Marin G, Adolt R, Gschwantner T, Petráš R, Korhonen K, Kuliešis A, Kulbokas G, Fischer C, Lanz A 2015. Stem quality assessment in European National Forest Inventories: an opportunity for harmonised reporting? Ann. For. Sci.: 1-14. 10.1007/s13595-015-0503-8.
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