Forest Observation System
Global forest plot data for earth observation and land surface modelling


Plot information

Click on a plot in the map on the left hand side to load and visualize its data.

Biomass maps legend:

biomass layer legend


Tropics by WUR reference

GlobBiomass reference

CCI Biomass reference

Hansen tree cover 2000 reference

Download data

Only logged in users are allowed to download.


The Forest Observation System is an international cooperation to establish a global in-situ forest biomass database to support earth observation and to encourage investment in relevant field-based observations and science.

The Forest Observation System provides well curated biomass plot data in a unified format, that is aggregated from tree level data consistently across different networks.



You are very welcome to join FOS. We are looking for more sample plot data, which meet our requirements:

  • Permanent forest plots with ability to re-measure (funding permitted) at start (2023) and end (2028) of ESA BIOMASS mission
  • Size of a plot should be 0.25 ha at least, but 1 ha (or larger) plots are preferable. Large plots should be divided by 50x50 m sub-plots
  • Every trees (above certain DBH threshold) should get species identification, measured by DBH and height. We will use tree-by-tree data to calculate plot-level biomass and height. We will publish (if you allow) plot-level data only
  • Accurate location of the plot: multiple GPS measurement of every corner of the plot
  • Example of input data table: FOS_Plots_example_en.xls

Data package

List to the articles citing FOS data package

This package contains data: Above-ground biomass estimation of 260 forest plots globally

This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).

When using this data, please cite the data package:

Dmitry Schepaschenko, Jérôme Chave, Oliver L. Phillips, Simon L. Lewis, Stuart J. Davies, Maxime Réjou-Méchain, Plinio Sist, Klaus Scipal, Christoph Perger, Bruno Herault, Nicolas Labrière, Florian Hofhansl, Kofi Affum-Baffoe, Alexei Aleinikov, Alfonso Alonso, Christian Amani, Alejandro Araujo-Murakami, John Armston,, Luzmila Arroyo, Nataly Ascarrunz, Celso 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, Dilshad 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 Guedes, Keith 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 Koffi Konan, Maria Konovalova, Florian Kraxner, Jan Krejza, Haruni Krisnawati, Leonid V. Krivobokov, Mikhail A. Kuznetsov, Ivan Lakyda, Petro I. Lakyda, Juan Carlos Licona, Richard M. Lucas, Natalia Lukina, Daniel Lussetti, Yadvinder Malhi, José Antonio Manzanera, Beatriz Marimon, Ben Hur Marimon Junior, Rodolfo Vasquez Martinez, Olga V. Martynenko,, Maksym S. Matsala, Raisa K. Matyashuk, Lucas Mazzei, Hervé Memiaghe, Casimiro Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo-Mendoza, Olga V. Morozyuk, Liudmila Mukhortova, Samsudin Musa, Dina I. Nazimova, Toshinori Okuda, Luis Claudio Oliveira, Petr V. Ontikov, Andrey F. Osipov, Stephan Pietsch, Maureen Playfair, John Poulsen, Vladimir G. Radchenko, Kenneth Rodney, Andes H. Rozak, Ademir Ruschel, Ervan Rutishauser, Linda See, Maria Shchepashchenko, Nikolay Shevchenko, Anatoly Shvidenko,, Marcos Silveira, James Singh, Bonaventure Sonké, Cintia Souza, Krzysztof Stereńczak, Leonid Stonozhenko, Martin J P Sullivan, Justyna Szatniewska, Hermann Taedoumg, Hans ter Steege, Elena Tikhonova, Marisol Toledo, Olga V. Trefilova, Ruben Valbuena, Luis Valenzuela Gamarra, Sergey Vasiliev, Estella F. Vedrova, Sergey V. Verhovets,, Edson Vidal, Nadezhda A. Vladimirova, Jason Vleminckx, Vincent A. Vos, Foma K. Vozmitel, Wolfgang Wanek, Thales A. P. West, Hannsjorg Woell, John T. Woods, Verginia Wortel, Toshihiro Yamada, Nur Hajar Zamah Shari, Irié Casimir Zo-Bi (2019). A global reference dataset for remote sensing of forest biomass. The Forest Observation System approach. [Data Collection]. DOI: 10.22022/ESM/03-2019.38.


Code of Conduct


A major aim of FOS is to promote and support long-term collaboration among forest researchers across the world. To protect the rights of partners who have invested significant resources to collect these data (time and money) and to ensure that these data become part of the scientific process in a transparent way we request that:

  • All users of FOS data discuss with other collaborators, such as data providers, botanists and researchers, the research question that they wish to address, and involve them in the analysis, writing, and co-authorship of results.
  • All users of FOS obtain the explicit consent of the relevant principal investigator(s) and plot data manager before submitting any work for publication.The transfer of any data between FOS partners does not imply the automatic transfer of rights to publish the data.
  • The lead author of any publication using FOS data ensures that all co-author contributions are clearly defined: who was responsible for conceiving the idea, designing the study, collecting the field data, performing the analysis, contributing materials or analysis tools, analysing the data, and writing the paper.
  • FOS is fully cited in all publications that use any data or information obtained through FOS.


FOS depends on the contribution of high quality forest plot data by its partners. Do not only use the data but become an active partner and support the long-term future of this observational effort:

  • We encourage the user community to reinvest in developing the network, by uploading their own data, and/or funding recensuses and expansion of the contributing plot networks into under-sampled regions, and/or contributing to the costs of database management and functionality.
  • We encourage contributors to agree that their data can be downloaded and used. We will only make data publicly available with the data owner’s permission.
  • We request that potential commercial users or large research consortia contribute financially towards the costs of maintaining the database resource and of reinvesting in forest measurement and technical training.

Supporting Forest Plot Networks

Project team