Simulation of species-rich forests with the forest model FORMIND

FORMIND is an individual based, forest gap model that is used to simulate the growth of forests.

Forest Succession


Individual-based means that growth is calculated for each tree individually. In high diversity forests, species are classified into different plant functional types in order to facilitate the parameter estimation and to reduce computing time.

FORMIND Patch Structure
FORMIND Patch Structure


Analized forest area (1 to 50 ha) is divided into 20m x 20m patches. Large trees can fall down and create gaps in the forest leading to the simulation of forest structure and dynamics. Gaps can occur also due to disturbances like fire, landslides, logging or drought. Once a gap has formed, light-demanding species can establish.

FORMIND allows to simulate forests and is based on the forest gap model FORMIX3.

Current research topics are:

  • Detailed analysis of the effects of logging and fragmentation in tropical, temperate and boreal regions.
  • Influence of defaunation on recruitment.
  • Analysis of the carbon cycle of forests
  • Grasslands
  • Impact of fire events
  • Linking forest model and remote sensing
  • Large scale applications (e.g. simulation of the dynamics of the Amazon)
  • forest factory approach (analysis of a large number of forests stands for exploring relations e.g. aboveground productivity and forest structure)
FORMIND research topics
FORMIND research topics