For pratical aplications, growth and yield models should be implemented into computer programs with friendly interfaces – the simulators.

Simulators are tools based on growth models or processes that permit the long-term forecasting the evolution of a stand or forest under alternative management, policy or climate scenario (Tomé and Faias 2011).

Simulators can be developed for different scales: the stand, management unit, landscape, country or even the globe. Stand simulators are applicable to a stand – a contiguous homogeneous area in terms of composition and structure, whereas management unit simulators are suited to simulate a set of stands under a common management plan. Both types of tools aim at assisting forest owners/managers in their decisions regarding the land use, the tree species and forest management. Simulators can also be developed for the landscape level (for example, a watershed), in such cases permitting analysis focusing on the impact of alternative management or climatic scenarios. Finally, regional simulators address issues related to large scale decision making like the definition of policies, subsidies and incentives being useful tools for politicians and public administration. The decisions made at this level bound the decision making processed led by managers and owners and must always account for the industrial and societal needs.

Simulators are organized in different modules and regardless the scale the growth module is the core of these tools. This module has the function of updating growth to the next instant in time. The calculus module allows estimating a set of tree and/or stand level variables for that same instant in time. Simulators predict wood, biomass and the state of the forest, but can also provide estimates of non-wood products, as cork, and ecosystem services. Additionally, simulations can be affected by a set of other drivers that are usually implemented in separate modules: management module, the hazards module, the land use changes module or the demand module (Barreiro and Tomé 2017).

Stand level simulators allow to forecast the evolution of one or more stands under a certain management scenario which can differ among stands. Usually, the inputs required to run these tools derive from forest inventory and the results of simulation runs can be used, for example, to assist in the preparation of management plans.

At present, sIMfLOR platform integrates stand simulators for cork oak (Quercus suber) – SUBER –, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) – WebGlobulus –, and StandsSIM a wide-range simulador that allows carrying out simulations at different spatial scales, for eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) and stone pine (Pinus pinea).

Use the menus on the left hand side to learn more about each of these tools.


Barreiro S, Tomé M, 2017. Projection Systems in Europe and North America: Concepts and Approaches, In: Barreiro S, Schelhaas MJ, McRoberts RE, Kaendler G (eds) Forest Inventory-based Projection Systems for Wood and Biomass Availability. Managing Forest Ecosystems, vol 29. Springer, Cham pp.25-45

Tomé M, Faias S, 2011. Report describing the regional simulators and the European simulator. EFI Technical Report 69. European Forest Institute, Finland, 65pp

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