Simulation of species-rich forests with the growth model FORMIND

FORMIND is an individual based, forest gap model that is able to simulate the growth of species-rich forests.

Forest Succession


Individual-based means that growth is calculated for each tree individually. Trees in high diversity forests are aggregated into different plant functional types in order to facilitate the parameter definition of similar-behaving species and to reduce computing time.

FORMIND Patch Structure
FORMIND Patch Structure


The model area (1 to 50 ha) is divided into 20m x 20m patches. Forest gaps are implemented in order to simulate forest structure and dynamics. Gaps can occur due to dying trees or external disturbances like fire or landslides. Once a gap has formed, light-demanding species can establish themselves.

With these characteristics, FORMIND allows to simulate forests of high heterogeneity.

FORMIND is based on the forest gap model FORMIX3. Output can be visualised with the Stand Visualization System SVS.

Current research topics are:

  • Detailed analysis of the effects of logging and fragmentation are our main research interests.
  • A coupling of the recruitment module to a model which simulates fauna diversity is in preparation.
  • Analysis of the carbon cycle of forests
  • Grasslands
  • Impact of fire events
FORMIND research topics
FORMIND research topics