Research & results


Forest research at INBO focuses on understanding the functioning of forest ecosystems. We look at the role of biodiversity, abiotics, climate, environmental pressure and recovery processes. In addition, we continue to focus on genetic research into native trees and shrubs and the climate robustness of native tree species.

Based on our ecosystem research, we provide policy- and management-relevant advice and tools such as: -

  • reference, target and threshold values for habitat quality, environmental pressures and sustainable use -
  • tools for sustainable nature-based solutions: decision support models, map layers, collections of forest genetic resources and recommended provenances, genetic data in support of the concept of ‘sustainable conservation status’, etc.

INBO prides itself on its continuity and multidisciplinarity in this respect. We achieve longterm measurement series, databases and collections through permanent measurement networks. INBO employees carry out coordinatory roles in international networks such as ICP Forests. 

After the 2017 Forest Symposium, INBO and the universities together used the outcomes of the dialogue process to draw up a knowledge agenda. In order to implement the knowledge agenda and continue the dialogue, INBO is starting up two consultation structures:

  • A forest research users’ platform, which ensures interaction and coordination between all forest actors (policymakers, stakeholders and researchers) by identifying the main knowledge needs and paying attention to the transfer of knowledge to practitioners.
  • Complementing this, a forest researchers’ platform will agree on a suitable strategic approach to the identified knowledge needs. In addition, the researchers’ platform aims to promote cooperation across research institutions and to position Flemish forest research internationally.

By coordinating the forest research users’ and researchers’ platforms, INBO, together with the universities, plans to ensure that forest research in Flanders reflects the needs of policymakers and stakeholders and that research findings are communicated.