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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Forest: growing stock, increment and fellings / Forest: growing stock, increment and fellings (SEBI 017) - Assessment published Feb 2015

Forest: growing stock, increment and fellings (SEBI 017) - Assessment published Feb 2015

Indicator Assessment Created 17 Feb 2015 Published 19 Feb 2015 Last modified 19 Feb 2015, 05:48 PM
Topics: ,

Generic metadata

Topics:

Biodiversity Biodiversity (Primary topic)

Tags:
biodiversity | nature and biodiversity | forests | forestry | deadwood | increment | felling | forest
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • SEBI 017
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990, 2000, 2010
Geographic coverage:
Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Is forestry in Europe sustainable in terms of the balance between increment of growing stock and felling?

Key messages

The ratio of felling to increment is relatively stable and remains under 80% for most of the countries across Europe. This utilisation rate has allowed the forest stock to increase.

Forest utilisation rate per country (annual felling as a percentage of annual increment)

Chart
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Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Mean growing stock density by country

Chart
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Table
Data sources: Explore chart interactively

Key assessment

The ratio of felling to increment is relatively stable and remains under 80% for most of the countries across Europe. This utilisation rate has allowed the forest stock to increase.

As detailed in figure 1, the amount of wood felled has been less than that planted and added as incremental growth. This has allowed a build-up of the growing stock. The growing stock in Europe is increasing from a low level after clearances for agriculture and charcoal production in recent centuries. The area of forests in Europe probably reached its lowest level at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century. The ratio of felling to increment is expected to increase during the coming years. This is due to an expected increase in the demand for woody biomass as a renewable material energy source (Forest Europe, 2011).

For 43 countries, growing stock and forest area were reported. The mean growing stock in Europe (excluding the Russian Federation) is 150 m3/ha, but it varies considerably between countries, from 15 m3/ha in Iceland to 346 m3/ha in Switzerland (Figure 2). High values can be explained mainly by ecological conditions in favour of tree growth, by the protection of forest areas, by silvicultural practices, and locally by forest harvesting difficulties (Forest Europe, 2011).

This particular indicator addresses just one aspect of the sustainability of the forest sector. While maintaining felling below incremental production in the long run is a necessary condition for sustainability, from a biodiversity perspective it is not sufficient on its own. For a more comprehensive assessment, a complete set of forestry sector indicators is needed - such as the 35 indicators within six criteria used to report in the framework of Forest Europe.

NOTES

Growing stock is the stem volume of living trees.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

User not found: bialakat

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2014 1.7.4 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 3 years in October-December (Q4)

Related content

Related briefings

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100