Indicator forest and wood

Standing volume

Standing volume is the material capital of the forest. It is the result of natural factors and human activities. In this sense, it is not a parameter in itself (which means that the indicator cannot be assessed), but probably an important indicator for considerations such as stored carbon. The local and temporary reduction of standing volume may be useful to conserve forest stability and for silvicultural and ecological reasons.

Assessment of the state
impossible to evaluate impossible to evaluate
Assessment of the trend
impossible to evaluate impossible to evaluate
Switzerland on average 2009/15 (NFI4): 351 Switzerland on average 2004/06 (NFI3): 351 Switzerland on average 1993/95 (NFI2): 357 Switzerland on average 1983/85 (NFI1): 332 Southern Alps 2009/15 (NFI4): 240 Southern Alps 2004/06 (NFI3): 226 Southern Alps 1993/95 (NFI2): 206 Southern Alps 1983/85 (NFI1): 176 Alps 2009/15 (NFI4): 314 Alps 2004/06 (NFI3): 305 Alps 1993/95 (NFI2): 295 Alps 1983/85 (NFI1): 289 Pre-Alps 2009/15 (NFI4): 444 Pre-Alps 2004/06 (NFI3): 446 Pre-Alps 1993/95 (NFI2): 458 Pre-Alps 1983/85 (NFI1): 420 Central Plateau 2009/15 (NFI4): 380 Central Plateau 2004/06 (NFI3): 406 Central Plateau 1993/95 (NFI2): 441 Central Plateau 1983/85 (NFI1): 406 Jura 2009/15 (NFI4): 377 Jura 2004/06 (NFI3): 370 Jura 1993/95 (NFI2): 363 Jura 1983/85 (NFI1): 329
Standing volume by producing region in cubic metres per hectare.

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research: Swiss National Forestry Inventory (NFI)
Laubholz 2009/15 (LFI4): 111 Nadelholz 2009/15 (LFI4): 240 Laubholz 2004/06 (LFI3): 110 Nadelholz 2004/06 (LFI3): 241 Laubholz 1993/95 (LFI2): 105 Nadelholz 1993/95 (LFI2): 252 Laubholz 1983/85 (LFI1): 91 Nadelholz 1983/85 (LFI1): 241
Holzvorrat. Auswertungseinheit: zugänglicher Wald ohne Gebüschwald. Erhebungsperiode: nach LFI Periode mit Variation terrestrisches Netz.

Data for the graph: Excel

Overall, the standing volume has remained stable over the last few decades. A steady increase has been observed in the Alps, the Southern Alps and the Jura, especially wherever terrestrial conditions make wood harvesting more difficult. In contrast, according to the NFI13 (2004/06) and NFI4 (2009/15), the standing volume in the Central Plateau has decreased because the forest has been harvested to a greater extent and damaged by storms and bark beetle infestation.

Although a national target cannot be set for the standing volume, the indicator provides an important measurement of the forest. Nevertheless, target standing volumes can be set locally based on local conditions as well as forest management goals and measures.

International comparison

At around 350 m3 per hectare, Switzerland’s forest has the largest standing volume of European countries (» FOREST EUROPE 2015); wood harvesting is associated with high costs particularly in regions of the Alps and Southern Alps that are difficult to access.


The data on standing volume are provided by aerial images, the continuous sample survey carried out in forests and subsequent modelling.

Last updated on: 26.11.2018

Further information




Search and list of all indicators