Timber increment is an important indicator for forest policy decision making, thus annual ring measurements were carried out as part of the ongoing first National Forest Inventory in Ukraine. This important information source, which costs significant money to collect, has not been analyzed so far in laboratory. In light of this, the SFI-Project organized 21.02.2024 a meeting of NFI specialists from Romania, Ukraine and the European National Forest Inventory network (ENFIN) in order to gain from international experience exchange and get advice on how to make use out of annual ring measurement in the framework of current NFI in Ukraine.

The first speaker, Thomas Gschwantner, talked about the ENFIN study on the “Use of National Forest Inventories data to harmonize and improve the current knowledge on forest increment in Europe”. He pointed to the study objectives, namely the development and application of a harmonized definition and method for the estimation of internationally comparable net annual increment. The NFIs of 11 European countries contributed to the study.

Afterwards, Andrіy Shamrai, Chief of the Centre of National Forest Inventory and Vitaly Storozhuk, National Project Coordinator of the SFI-Project, informed participants about the current status of NFI in Ukraine with a focus on the ongoing collection of core drillings and their potential use for the calculation of increment. During 2021-2023 nearly 9000 tree sample core have been extracted for field estimation of tree age and diameter increment, but not yet analyzed further with regard to increment of growing stock.

In his presentation Gheorghe Marin, Head of the National Forest Inventory of Romania, gave an overview about National Forest Inventory in his country, with special focus on tree sample cores extraction, processing and their use for the calculation of forest increment. He stated that the usual way to  estimate forest increment is by successive inventory of two NFI cycles.  Tree core drilling is a solution for  estimation of forest increment in the first NFI cycle only, due to somewhat lower accuracy as well as additional costs. Marin pointed out the option of using core drillings for scientific studies on forest increment and the elaboration of updated, regionalized growth and yield models.

During the discussion Volker Sasse, SFI-Project Leader, summarized: “Core drillings undertaken during past three years in Ukraine have a huge information potential and should be treated with sufficient care. It is recommended to use this core drillings in the framework of ongoing NFI activities, e.g. for the preliminary calculation of increment and dendrochronological researches, although this requires a budget, which seems not available currently in Ukraine.”

With regard to lessons learned, recommended Heino Polley, SFI-Expert, to follow up on ENFIN approaches in order to contribute to harmonization efforts in the future.

Presentation Tree sample cores of the Romania’s NFI

Presentation Use of National Forest Inventories data to harmonise and improve the current knowledge on forest increment in Europe

Video of Zoom conference