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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles by Erkki Tomppo

Category : Article

article id 7675, category Article
Erkki Tomppo. (1992). Satellite image aided forest site fertility estimation for forest income taxation. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 229 article id 7675.
Keywords: site quality; discriminant analysis; forest taxation; satellite images; segmentation; logistic regression analysis; Markov random field
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Two operative forest site class estimation methods utilizing satellite images have been developed for forest income taxation purposes. For this, two pixelwise classification methods and two post-processing methods for estimating forest site fertility are compared using different input data. The pixelwise methods are discriminant analysis, based on generalized squared distances, and logistic regression analysis. The results of pixelwise classifications are improved either with mode filtering within forest stands or assuming a Markov random field type dependence between pixels. The stand delineation is obtained by using ordinary segmentation techniques. Optionally, known stand boundaries given by the interpreter can be applied. The spectral values of images are corrected using a digital elevation model of the terrain. Some textural features are preliminary tested in classification. All methods are justified by using independent test data.

A test of the practical methods was carried out and a cost-benefit analysis computed. The estimated cost saving in site quality classification varies from 14% to 35% depending on the distribution of the site classes of the area. This means a saving of about 2.0–4.5 million FMK per year in site fertility classification for income taxation purposes. The cost savings would rise even to 60% if that version of the method were chosen where field checking is totally omitted. The classification accuracy at the forest holding level would still be similar to that of traditional method.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Tomppo, E-mail: et@mm.unknown (email)

Category : Research article

article id 255, category Research article
Claude Vidal, Adrian Lanz, Erkki Tomppo, Klemens Schadauer, Thomas Gschwantner, Lucio di Cosmo, Nicolas Robert. (2008). Establishing forest inventory reference definitions for forest and growing stock: a study towards common reporting. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 2 article id 255.
Keywords: national forest inventories; reference definitions; growing stock; harmonisation; analytical decomposition
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
International agreements such as the Kyoto protocol and Convention on Biological Diversity (1992), as well as, criteria and indicator processes require reports on the status of nations’ forests. Any comparison of the current status and trends of forest resources among nations presumes that the nations’ applied definitions and concepts produce comparable estimates of the status of forests. In spite of this, the FAO has already collected global information for 60 years and made noticeable efforts in creating common definitions, but forest related data are still collected using diverse definitions, even regarding basic concepts such as forest and forest area. A simple consequence is that the cross-countries estimates are not comparable. The reasons behind the differences in the definitions are diverse histories, and sometimes different use of forests. In an ideal case, national forest inventories should fulfil both national and international needs. In addition to the FAO’s Forest Resources Assessment process, other efforts are made to assess the status of forests in European countries, e.g. European Forest Information and Communication System (EFICS). EFICS produced reports about forest inventories but does not suggest any common definition or method to convert estimates from one definition to another one. This article presents principles and methods to create commonly acceptable and adoptable definitions for forest inventories. The principles and methods are demonstrated using two examples: the reference definitions of forest and growing stock. The article is based on the work of COST Action E43 (
  • Vidal, Inventaire Forestier National, Château des Barres, Nogent-sur-Vernisson, France E-mail: (email)
  • Lanz, WSL/FNP, Abteilung Landschaftsinventuren, Birmensdorf, Switzerland E-mail:
  • Tomppo, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, Vantaa, Finland E-mail:
  • Schadauer, Bundesamt und Forschungszentrum für Wald, Wien, Austria E-mail:
  • Gschwantner, Bundesamt und Forschungszentrum für Wald, Wien, Austria E-mail:
  • di Cosmo, ISAFA, Villazzano, Italy E-mail:
  • Robert, Inventaire Forestier National, Ch‰teau des Barres, Nogent-sur-Vernisson, France E-mail:
article id 265, category Research article
Emil Cienciala, Erkki Tomppo, Arnor Snorrason, Mark Broadmeadow, Antoine Colin, Karsten Dunger, Zuzana Exnerova, Bruno Lasserre, Hans Petersson, Tibor Priwitzer, Gerardo Sanchez, Göran Ståhl. (2008). Preparing emission reporting from forests: use of National Forest Inventories in European countries. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 1 article id 265.
Keywords: forest carbon pools; greenhouse gas inventory; Kyoto Protocol; UNFCCC
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
We examine the current status of greenhouse gas inventories of the sector Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), in European countries, with specific focus on the utilization of National Forest Inventory (NFI) programs. LULUCF inventory is an integral part of the reporting obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. The analysis is based on two questionnaires prepared by the COST Action E43 “Harmonisation of National Forest Inventories in Europe”, which were answered by greenhouse gas reporting experts in European countries. The following major conclusions can be drawn from the analysis: 1) definitions used to obtain carbon pool change estimates vary widely among countries and are not directly comparable 2) NFIs play a key role for LULUCF greenhouse gas estimation and reporting under UNFCCC, and provide the fundamental data needed for the estimation of carbon stock changes covering not only living biomass, but increasingly also deadwood, litter and soil compartments. The study highlights the effects of adopting different definitions for two major reporting processes, namely UNFCCC and FAO, and exemplifies the effect of different tree diameter thresholds on carbon stock change estimates for Finland. The results demonstrate that more effort is needed to harmonize forest inventory estimates for the purpose of making the estimates of forest carbon pool changes comparable. This effort should lead to a better utilization of the data from the European NFI programs and improve the European greenhouse gas reporting.
  • Cienciala, Institute of Forest Ecosystem Research (IFER), Areal 1. Jilovske a.s. 1544, 254 01 Jilove u Prahy, Czech Republic E-mail: (email)
  • Tomppo, Metla, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finland E-mail:
  • Snorrason, Icelandic Forest Research, Iceland E-mail:
  • Broadmeadow, Forestry Commission, Forest Research Alice Holt Logdge, United Kingdom E-mail:
  • Colin, French National Forest Inventory, France E-mail:
  • Dunger, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Institute of Forest Ecology and Forest Assessment, Germany E-mail:
  • Exnerova, Institute of Forest Ecosystem Research, Czech Republic E-mail:
  • Lasserre, Department of Environment and Territory Sciences and Technologies, University of Molise, Italy E-mail:
  • Petersson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management, Sweden E-mail:
  • Priwitzer, National Forest Centre, Forest Research Institute. Slovak Republic E-mail:
  • Sanchez, Forest Health Unit, General Directorate for Biodiversity, Environmental Ministry, Spain E-mail:
  • Ståhl, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management, Sweden E-mail:
article id 563, category Research article
Timo Pakkala, Ilkka Hanski, Erkki Tomppo. (2002). Spatial ecology of the three-toed woodpecker in managed forest landscapes. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 563.
Keywords: three-toed woodpecker; territory quality; landscape quality; critical threshold value; metapopulation theory; metapopulation capacity; Finnish National Forest Inventory
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The effects of landscape structure and forestry on the abundance and dynamics of boreal forest bird species have been studied widely, but there are relatively few studies in which the spatial structure and quality of the landscape have been related to the spatial ecology of bird species. In this paper, we present methods to measure territory and landscape quality for the three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) and similar territorial forest bird species based on data from the Finnish multi-source national forest inventory and metapopulation theory. The three-toed woodpecker was studied with territory mapping within an area of 340 square km in southern Finland in 1987–2000. Altogether 195 breeding territory sites were observed. The spatial occurrence of the territories was aggregated, and the highest densities were observed in spruce-dominated old-growth forest areas. Both territory and landscape quality had significant consequences for the occurrence of the three-toed woodpecker. The spatial patterning and permanence of breeding and non-breeding territories were influenced by a combination of spatial dynamics of the species and the quality of the landscape, the latter being much influenced by forestry. The landscape-level spatial occurrence of the three-toed woodpecker in the study area may represent source-sink dynamics. The results of this paper suggest the presence of threshold values at different spatial scales, which may determine the occurrence of the three-toed woodpecker and similar species in managed forest landscapes.
  • Pakkala, Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 17, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Hanski, Department of Ecology and Systematics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 47, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail:
  • Tomppo, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Unioninkatu 40 A, FIN-00170 Helsinki, Finland E-mail:
article id 587, category Research article
Erkki Tomppo, Kari T. Korhonen, Juha Heikkinen, Hannu Yli-Kojola. (2001). Multi-source inventory of the forests of the Hebei Forestry Bureau, Heilongjiang, China. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 3 article id 587.
Keywords: models; forest inventory; satellite images; k-nearest neighbour method; China
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
A multi-source forest inventory method is applied to the estimation of forest resources in the area of the Hebei Forest Bureau in Heilongjiang province in North-East China. A stratified systematic cluster sampling design was utilised in field measurements. The design was constructed on the basis of information from earlier stand-level inventories, aerial orthophotographs, experiences from other sampling inventories and the available budget. Sample tree volumes were estimated by means of existing models. New models were constructed and their parameters estimated for tallied tree volumes and volume increments. The estimates for the area of the Bureau were computed from field measurements, and for the areas of the forest farms estimated from field measurements and satellite images. A k-nearest neighbour method was utilised. This method employing satellite image data makes it possible to estimate all variables, particularly for smaller areas than that possible using field measurements only. The methods presented, or their modifications, could also be applied to the planning and realisation of forest inventories elsewhere in Temperate or Boreal zones. The inventory in question gave an estimate of 114 m3/ha (the multi-source inventory 119 m3/ha) instead of 72 m3/ha as previously estimated from available information. Totally nineteen tree species, genera of species or tree species groups were identified (Appendix 1). The forests were relatively young, 60% of them younger than 40 years and 85% younger than 60 years.
  • Tomppo, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Unioninkatu 40 A, FIN-00170 Helsinki, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Korhonen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Unioninkatu 40 A, FIN-00170 Helsinki, Finland E-mail:
  • Heikkinen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Unioninkatu 40 A, FIN-00170 Helsinki, Finland E-mail:
  • Yli-Kojola, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Unioninkatu 40 A, FIN-00170 Helsinki, Finland E-mail:

Category : Review article

article id 463, category Review article
Thomas Gschwantner, Klemens Schadauer, Claude Vidal, Adrian Lanz, Erkki Tomppo, Lucio di Cosmo, Nicolas Robert, Daisy Englert Duursma, Mark Lawrence. (2009). Common tree definitions for national forest inventories in Europe. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 2 article id 463.
Keywords: harmonisation; COST Action E43; tree definitions; shrub definitions; tree elements; tree variables; tree characteristics
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
At the international level, various definitions have been established for the compilation and publication of forest resources assessment results over the last decade. These international definitions frequently rely on terms that are not precisely specified for inventory purposes and do not completely cover the requirements arising from the application of National Forest Inventory (NFI) data. Also, with respect to conventional topics such as forest area and growing stock estimation, several terms and expressions referring to individual trees are not, or are only vaguely, defined until now. Since the individual tree is the basic element of any forest resources assessment, the clarification of tree-related terms is an important part of COST Action E43 to harmonise common reporting of National Forest Inventories. Based on a review of existing definitions and on the requirements for harmonised reporting, common tree-related definitions are established. One objective of this study is to refine and enhance the applicability of available tree and shrub definitions, in particular with regard to the distinction between trees and shrubs. The study also focuses on the parts or “elements” of trees and on the distinction between these elements as they are of particular importance in growing stock and biomass definitions. Furthermore, several definitions for tree characteristics such as “living” and “standing”, as well as tree variables such as height, length, diameter at breast height, and crown projection area are adjusted with respect to NFI purposes. A concluding discussion reflects upon the reviewed, refined and newly established definitions. The definitions presented in this paper provide a firm basis for a common set of harmonised reference definitions developed by COST Action E43 and contribute to the precise and consistent use of terms.
  • Gschwantner, Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape, Wien, Austria E-mail: (email)
  • Schadauer, Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape, Wien, Austria E-mail:
  • Vidal, French National Forest Inventory, Nogent-sur-Vernisson, France E-mail:
  • Lanz, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland E-mail:
  • Tomppo, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa, Finland E-mail:
  • di Cosmo, Agricultural Research Council – Forest Monitoring and Planning Research Unit, Trento, Italy E-mail:
  • Robert, French National Forest Inventory, Nogent-sur-Vernisson, France E-mail:
  • Englert Duursma, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa, Finland E-mail:
  • Lawrence, Northern Research Station, Roslin, Midlothian, Great Britain E-mail:

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