Inference on forest attributes and ecological diversity of trees outside forest by a two-phase inventory

  • Marco Marchetti
  • Vittorio Garfì
  • Caterina Pisani
  • Sara Franceschi
  • Marzia Marcheselli
  • Piermaria Corona
  • Nicola Puletti
  • Matteo Vizzarri
  • Marco di Cristofaro
  • Marco Ottaviano
  • Lorenzo Fattorini
Original Paper


Key message

Trees outside forests (TOF) have crucial ecological and social-economic roles in rural and urban contexts around the world. We demonstrate that a large-scale estimation strategy, based on a two-phase inventory approach, effectively supports the assessment of TOF’s diversity and related climate change mitigation potential.


Although trees outside forest (TOF) affect the ecological quality and contribute to increase the social and economic developments at various scales, lack of data and difficulties to harmonize the known information currently limit their integration into national and global forest inventories.


This study aims to develop and test a large-scale estimation framework to assess ecological diversity and above-ground carbon stock of TOF.


This study adopts a two-phase inventory approach.


In the surveyed territory (Molise region, Central Italy), all the attributes considered (tree abundance, basal area, wood volume, above-ground carbon stock) are concentrated in a few dominant species. Furthermore, carbon stock in TOF above-ground biomass is non-negligible (on average: 28.6 t ha−1). Compared with the low field sampling effort (0.08% out of 52,796 TOF elements), resulting uncertainty of the estimators are more than satisfactory, especially those regarding the diversity index estimators (relative standard errors < 10%).


The proposed approach can be suitably applied on vast territories to support landscape planning and maximize ecosystem services balance from TOF.


Diversity estimation Tree inventory Sampling Field survey Carbon stock Molise region (Italy) 



This work was carried out under the departmental research project of Molise University: “Inner areas. Contribution to rural development of sustainable forest management in mountain environment” (grant number: H32F16000080005).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Marchetti
    • 1
  • Vittorio Garfì
    • 1
  • Caterina Pisani
    • 2
  • Sara Franceschi
    • 3
  • Marzia Marcheselli
    • 2
  • Piermaria Corona
    • 4
  • Nicola Puletti
    • 5
  • Matteo Vizzarri
    • 1
  • Marco di Cristofaro
    • 1
  • Marco Ottaviano
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Fattorini
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Bioscienze e TerritorioUniversità degli Studi del MolisePescheItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics and StatisticsUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Economics, Statistics and FinanceUniversity of CalabriaArcavacata di RendeItaly
  4. 4.CREA Research Centre for Forestry and WoodArezzoItaly
  5. 5.CREA Research Centre for Forestry and WoodTrentoItaly

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