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Herb layer biomass in Swiss forests


The Swiss national forest inventory (NFI) provides comprehensive information on the state of forests in Switzerland. The NFI is thus an important source of data for monitoring and reporting purposes such as under the Global Forest Resources Assessment or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Because non-woody, herbaceous plants can add a significant proportion to the total plant litter production in forest ecosystems, their contribution to the carbon balance of forests is accounted for in national greenhouse gas inventories (GHGI), e.g., by Finland and Norway. In Switzerland, this is currently not the case due to the lack of data required to estimate the biomass of herbaceous plants. The purpose of this project was to develop a model to estimate herb layer biomass and carbon stock based on the categorical cover estimate on each NFI sample plot.

J. Schneuwly (internship student) and NFI scientific collaborators M. Baume and F. Giudici were responsible for the meticulous and efficient work in the field.