Recent developments in the national forest inventory and associated research issues
2 April 2015 — Conference Room
France put in place relatively early (1960) a permanent program of forest resources assessment. The inventories were first organized by department according to cycles of about ten years. This system was used until 2004. The inventory method changed considerably in 2005 in that researchers transitioned to assessing continuous inventories for the mainland French territory by observing essential characteristics each year to arrive at a representative sample for the entire area concerned. Overall results are updated annually. The reasons for this change and developments associated with this method of continuous inventory allowing forest resources and their evolution to be characterized (rates of growth, harvesting, mortality) will be presented together with a new image of forests in France – a dynamic, new perspective.
The role of the FRA (forest resources assessment) in France will be also placed in an international context, particularly European, in which the issues of climate change and the strong dynamic of forests on this continent, as well as the political context of a reunified Europe have contributed strongly to rekindling interest inventory tools for national forests. This has also led to an emerging need greater harmonization at the international level, a process in which Europe plays a leading role. The presentation will discuss the new research issues associated with FRA, both at the level of increasing knowledge about forests for optimal use of inventory tools and new opportunities in the field of information production for forest resources and monitoring forest ecosystems.