The Forest Observation System, building a global reference dataset for remote sensing of forest biomass

Dmitry Schepaschenko, Jérôme Chave, Oliver L. Phillips, Simon L. Lewis, Stuart J. Davies, Maxime Réjou-Méchain, Plinio Sist, Klaus Scipal, Christoph Perger, Bruno Hérault, Nicolas Labrière, Florian Hofhansl, Kofi Affum-Baffoe, Alexei Aleinikov, Alfonso Alonso, Christian Amani, Alejandro Araujo-Murakami, John Armston, Luzmila Arroyo, Nataly AscarrunzCelso Azevedo, Timothy Baker, Radomir Bałazy, Caroline Bedeau, Nicholas Berry, Andrii M. Bilous, Svitlana Yu. Bilous, Pulchérie Bissiengou, Lilian Blanc, Kapitolina S. Bobkova, Tatyana Braslavskaya, Roel Brienen, David F. R. P. Burslem, Richard Condit, Aida Cuni-Sanchez, Dilashad Danilina, Dennis del Castillo Torres, Géraldine Derroire, Laurent Descroix, Eleneide Doff Sotta, Marcus V. N. d'Oliveira, Christopher Dresel, Terry Erwin, Mikhail D. Evdokimenko, Jan Falck, Ted R. Feldpausch, Ernest G. Foli, Robin Foster, Steffen Fritz, Antonio Damian Garcia-Abril, Aleksey Gornov, Maria Gornova, Ernest Gothard-Bassébé, Sylvie Gourlet-Fleury, Marcelino Geudes, Keith C. Hamer, Farida Herry Susanty, Niro Higuchi, Eurídice N. Honorio Coronado, Wannes Hubau, Stephen Hubbell, Ulrik Ilstedt, Viktor V. Ivanov, Milton Kanashiro, Anders Karlsson, Viktor N. Karminov, Timothy Killeen, Jean-Claude Konan Koffi, Maria Konovalova, Florian Kraxner, Jan Krejza, Haruni Krisnawati, Leonid V. Krivobokov, Mikhail A. Kuznetsov, Ivan Lakyda, Petro I. Lakyda, Juan Carlos Licona, Richard Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (SciVal)
169 Downloads (Pure)


Forest biomass is an essential indicator for monitoring the Earth’s ecosystems and climate. It is a critical input to greenhouse gas accounting, estimation of carbon losses and forest degradation, assessment of renewable energy potential, and for developing climate change mitigation policies such as REDD+, among others. Wall-to-wall mapping of aboveground biomass (AGB) is now possible with satellite remote sensing (RS). However, RS methods require extant, up-to-date, reliable, representative and comparable in situ data for calibration and validation. Here, we present the Forest Observation System (FOS) initiative, an international cooperation to establish and maintain a global in situ forest biomass database. AGB and canopy height estimates with their associated uncertainties are derived at a 0.25 ha scale from field measurements made in permanent research plots across the world’s forests. All plot estimates are geolocated and have a size that allows for direct comparison with many RS measurements. The FOS offers the potential to improve the accuracy of RS-based biomass products while developing new synergies between the RS and ground-based ecosystem research communities
Original languageEnglish
Article number198
Pages (from-to)198
JournalScientific Data
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2019


  • Environmental Monitoring/methods
  • Forests
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Remote Sensing Technology
  • Biomass


Dive into the research topics of 'The Forest Observation System, building a global reference dataset for remote sensing of forest biomass'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this