Evaluation of a large-scale forest scenario model in heterogeneous forests: a case study for Switzerland

E. Thürig, M.J. Schelhaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Large-scale forest scenario models are widely used to simulate the development of forests and to compare the carbon balance estimates of different countries. However, as site variability in the application area often exceeds the variability in the calibration area, model validation is important. The aim of this study was to evaluate the European Forest Information Scenario model (EFISCEN). As Switzerland exhibits high spatial and climatic diversity, it was taken as a case study. The model output was compared to measured data in terms of initialization, estimation of growing stock, stand age, increment, management, and natural mortality. Comparisons were done at the country level, but also for regions and site classes. The results showed that the initialization procedure of EFISCEN works well for Switzerland. Moreover, EFISCEN accurately estimated the observed growing stock at the country level. On a regional level, major differences occurred. In particular, distribution of the harvesting amounts, mortality, and age-class distribution deviated considerably from empirical values. For future model applications, we therefore propose to define the required harvesting level not per country, but to specify it for smaller regions. Moreover, the EFISCEN simulations should be improved by refining the mortality function and by incorporating more flexibility in forest management practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-683
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • area increment model
  • climate-change
  • inventory data
  • carbon budget
  • growth-models
  • management
  • atmosphere
  • dynamics
  • biomass
  • stands


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of a large-scale forest scenario model in heterogeneous forests: a case study for Switzerland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this