Deadwood refers to dead trees or tree parts that are standing or lying. Deadwood is a very important component of the forest ecosystem because it promotes biodiversity. In addition, deadwood can protect against rockfalls or serve as a seed bed for tree seed.
Overall, deadwood has increased in Swiss forests. However, this positive trend is not quite enough to reach the target values of the forest policy in all regions. Deadwood deficits still exist particularly in the Central Plateau and the Jura.
For international comparisons, the corresponding threshold values for forest surveys must be taken into consideration. Based on the data from the State of Europe’s Forests, Switzerland is one of the countries that is rich in deadwood (volume per hectare of forest).
The data on deadwood are provided by aerial images, the continuous sample survey carried out in forests and subsequent modelling.