The National Forest Inventory (NFI) will deliver authoritative information on the extent, location and nature of GB woodlands and how they might change in the future. It is therefore an essential component of delivering a robust evidence base for forest policy and programme development and evaluation at GB, Country and Regional scales.
From a scientific perspective, the NFI is underpinned by research in this theme commissioned through the Forestry Commission Inventory Forecasting and Operational Support unit and covering:
- Forest resource assessment standards and systems
- Models of forest growth, yield and stand dynamics for assessment of productive potential, and for predicting impacts of management interventions on the growing stock. These models utilise empirical data from:
- A network of permanent sample plots in stands of strategically selected species.
- Short term mensuration experiments
- Forecast systems that work at strategic and tactical levels to predict long term trends in production and development of the growing stock
It is a significant strength of this research theme that inventory protocols, inventory data, and forecasts for wood, biomass and carbon are developed around a common core. Development of a common inventory and modelling base across the forest sector is not only efficient, it also helps deliver necessary transparency and credibility to resource estimates.
In addition to their broader evidence base contribution, the information and management systems delivered through this theme underpin Forestry Commission commitments to reporting forest resource statistics and directly support a number of actions and indicators in each of the three countries.
Links to the inventory and forecasting research projects are listed below