Forest inventory and monitoring provide the basis for assessing forest status, products and services. Forest manager make sustainable forest management plans based on forest data.
Multi-resource inventories can provide baseline data for preparation of national forest management plans. A forest management inventory is required to gather information on all sub-compartments (the information including soil, timber, biodiversity, etc.), and subsequent regional guides and forest management plans are made as well. Forest management inventories are conducted to: (1) determine the condition, production, potential, and amounts of key ecosystem components or processes; (2) identify a benchmark for describing the current physical and biological situation and for forecasting changes; (3) provide ecological information as bases for protection and management decisions about land and resource uses, proposed plans, or actions; (4) consider conditions or trends that either change the demand for resources or that are affected by resource decisions; and (5) refer all inventory information to specific units of land.
Forest yield and growth models are essential tools for forest management decision-making. Their uses include production forecasting, inventory updating, evaluation of silvicultural alternatives, management planning, and harvest scheduling. In practical applications, suitable models should be carefully selected according to the demands from the end-users as well as the available data characteristics. With the fast development of related subjects such as statistics, computer science and data acquisition approach such as remote sensing, the growth and yield models are also in a way of changing and this change should be paid great attention.
Forest carbon storage can be measured by either sample tree methods or regressive models. The sample tree method is easy to conduct but stand specific and destructive, whereas the regressive model method is non-destructive. To establish a regressive model, the sampling scheme itself can be time consuming and labor intense. The nested regression method, a labor saving approach, is recommended for determining the relationship between biomass and DBH. For carbon budget, long-term monitoring based on permanent plots is required, while gas exchange measurement can be applied to determine the real-time balance between forest ecosystem and the atmosphere.