General Remarks

Data Portal

The data portal of ICP Forests to be used for submissions and downloads is available under:

Offline usage of documentation

An offline version of this documentation is available under here:

Offline documentation

What to submit?

Data has to be submitted survey by survey and year by year.

A complete set of forms (tables) includes

  • a reduced plot file

  • data files

  • data accompanying reports (optional)

  • a laboratory QA file called LQA (in case of surveys with data from laboratory analyses)

Format of submission files

The data will be submitted as CSV files with following specification:

  • encoding: UTF8

  • column separator: ; (semicolon)

  • quotation marks for text fields: NONE

Plain CSV files of all forms are available as zip archive:

Header of submission files

The first line of each form to be submitted has to start with a exclamation mark followed by the names of submitted attributes separated by a semicolon.

The order of attributes has to follow the description of the this documentation.

The header is mandatory for all forms and will be tested against the description of the this documentation.

An example for a valid header (System Instalment Level II plotfile):

!Sequence; country; plot; latitude; longitude; X; Y; altitude_m; altitude; plot_design; orientation; slope;date_installation; plot_size; status_plot; status_NFI; other_observations

Description of formats

The format to be used for each form is described in this documentation.

Terms used for the description:

  • POSITION: column wise position of the attribute

  • FIELD: Name of the attribute

    • (...) the format or unit of the attributes is given in brackets after the attributes name if available

    • M this field is mandatory

    • K this field is part of the key

  • DESCRIPTION: further description of the attribute

    • DB Column: name of the column in the db used for this attribute (ONLY listed if db column name is different to FIELD)

    • Description: short description of the attribute

    • Remarks: further information about the attribute or format (ONLY listed if available)

    • Format: data format used for this attribute (see Data formats below)

    • Explanatory item: information about the attribute too long for Remarks

    • Dictionary: code list to be used for the attribute

Data formats

Possible data formats of an attribute:

  • I: Integer

  • F: Floating point number

  • C: Character

  • DATE/TIME: date or time values (exact format will be specified in the respective explanatory item or in the form definition)

  • Y/N: "Y" for "yes" - "N" for "no"

Decimal separator: point

If values are below the detection limit a "-1" should be submitted.

The detection limit for the respective parameters has to be submitted in the associated LQA-Form.

A "0" (zero) should be used only in case that this is the assessed or measured value;

e.g. "0" for "precipitation" in case that no precipitation during the respective period was observed.

Other parameters with valid "0" could be "Weight of oranic layer"; "Carbonates" (Soil); or alkalinity (Soil Solution; Deposition).

Reserved symbols

Following symbols are reverved and cannot be used within the data

  • ' (single quots)

  • " (double quots)

  • ; (semicolon - used as column separator)

Form names

The file name of submitted forms has to follow the described naming convention.

The first two digits represend the code of the data providing country (see dictionary d_country);

Digits 3 to 6 define the monitoring year the data belongs to.

The extension is always the form name; separated by a dot.

E.g. the correct name of the PLD form from Germany for 2011 would be: 042011.PLD.


The naming convention of LQA forms is as following:

  • digits 1-2: country code (see dictionary d_country)

  • digits 3-6: survey year

  • digits 7-8: survey code (see dictionary d_surveys)

  • digit 9: "."

  • digit 10-12: form abbreviation

The naming for plot file of the System Instalment survey is as following:

  • digits 1-2: country code (see dictionary d_country)

  • digits 3-11: "GENER.PLT"

Structure of dictionaries / code lists

  • CODE: value to be used for the attribute

  • DECRIPTION: definition of the CODE

  • FROM_YEAR: short form for "valid_from_survey_year" (first survey year this code can be used for)

  • TO_YEAR: short form for "valid_to_survey_year" (last survey year this code can be used for)

Submitting free files

Free files are files submitted to the ICP-Forests database in addition to the forms described in this documentation.

One can distinguish 3 different types:

Data Accompanying Reports (DAR-Q)

These reports include additional information concerning the data.

The content might be further described in the corresponding parts of the ICP-Forests manual.

DAR-Q have to be submitted as ".doc"; ".docx" or ".pdf" files


Photos can be submitted for the surveys LA; PH and OZ.

The extact file name format is described in the Explanatory Item 86

All photos have to be submitted as ".jpg" files.

Additional free files

Additional free files can be submitted for any survey. The content is no further specified.

Additional free files can be of following file types:

"doc"; "docx"; "pdf"; "txt"; "xls"; "xlsx"; "jpg"; "zip"