Inventory Platform

The Inventory Platform is a dataset of harmonised information from the National Forest Inventories (NFIs) of selected European countries, with a focus on the six regions in the Exploratory Platform. NFIs provide a systematic large-scale representation of a country’s forest structure and are statistically representative of the variability in forest types over large environmental and management gradients.

Focusing on data from the Exploratory regions will provide a means to test whether diversity-functioning relationships identified in the Exploratory Platform are valid at larger spatial scales and respond to environmental and management gradients beyond those covered by the Exploratory Platform. The strength of NFIs is in their solid statistical design and their vast extent ensures a high representativeness, which will mean that any diversity signal detected immediately implies a large-scale relevance.

Data from the Inventory Platform will be used to extract information on the functional significance of forest diversity on fundamental vital rates of European forests regions. It will be used to characterise aspects of forest diversity (species richness, species diversity, and functional richness and diversity) as predictors to estimate growth, mortality rates and recruitment. The Inventory Platform is complimented by a European-wide trait database and they will be used together to map the functional diversity of European forests.

Ancillary data on climate, soil conditions, topography and management is essential when extracting diversity signals, to control for confounding effects. All of the NFIs record stand-level abiotic information such as soil type and depth, however to ensure complete coverage data from external spatial datasets has been compiled. These spatial datasets include WorldClim, which provides 19 climate layers derived from monthly temperature and rainfall values, The European Soils Database, which provides more than 50 soil attributes, GTOPO30, a digital elevation model, and CGIAR-CSI’s potential evapotranspiration and aridity indices.

Data compilations provided by the companion EU project CarboEXTREME have been used as a backbone for the Inventory Platform.

by Sophia Ratcliffe, University of Leipzig

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