Forest models for research and decision support in sustainable forest management


Forest growth models are important tools within research to investigate and understand key ecosystem processes and to support forest management decisions. Sustainable forest management requires detailed information on tree growth and forest dynamics, including structural development, biodiversity indicators, and effects of disturbances. This is reflected in increasing emphasis, throughout Europe, on more detailed, versatile forest growth models which are able to forecast forest growth, account for changes in growing conditions, address risks and society needs and explicitly address forest management and its role within sustainable development.

Research objectives

The main objective of the Action is to promote the developing of methodologies to improve forest models to support the sustainable management of forests. The Action will:

  • Enhance the quality and consistency of forest growth models to simulate the responses of forests to alternative managerial and climate scenarios
  • Demonstrate variations in regional concepts as they have evolved depending on the background of the model developers and society needs.


The project is divided into the followng workgroups:

  • WG1: Inventory and review of existing models
  • WG2: Underlying concepts and theories, model extensions
  • WG3: Data-model interactions
  • WG4: Applying models at different temporal and spatial scales

Forest Research involvment

  • Robert Matthews is on the management committee of this action and is participating in WG4
  • Georgios Xenakis is participating in WG2 and contributing in a review article on modelling concepts.

Funders and partners

EU flag
This programme is funded by the European Union - EU COST Action FP0603

22 countries are involved in this COST Action.


The COST Action started in April 2007 until April 2011.


For further information contact:

Robert Matthews