European Journal of Forest Research, 2005, Vol.124(4), pp.251-260
In the 1970s unexpected forest damages, called “new type of forest damage” or “forest decline”, were observed in Germany and other European countries. The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Federal States implemented a forest monitoring system in the early 1980s, in order to monitor and assess the forest condition. Due to the growing public awareness of possible adverse effects of air pollution on forests, in 1985 the ICP Forests was launched under the convention on long-range transboundary air pollution (CLRTAP) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE). The German experience in forest monitoring was a base for the implementation of the European monitoring system. In 2001 the interdisciplinary case study “concept and feasibility study for the integrated evaluation of environmental monitoring data in forests”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, concentrated on in-depths evaluations of the German data of forest monitoring. The objectives of the study were: (a) a reliable assessment of the vitality and functioning of forest ecosystems, (b) the identification and quantification of factors influencing forest vitality, and (c) the clarification of cause-effect-relationships leading to leaf/needle loss. For these purposes additional data from external sources were acquired: climate and deposition, for selected level I plots tree growth data, as well as data on groundwater quality. The results show that in particular time series analysis (crown condition, tree growth, and tree ring analysis), in combination with climate and deposition are valuable and informative, as well as integrated evaluation of soil, tree nutrition and crown condition data. Methods to combine information from the extensive and the intensive monitoring, and to transfer process information to the large scale should be elaborated in future.
Environmental monitoring ; Data management ; Forest growth ; Critical loads ; Regionalization ; Integrated evaluation ; Modelling ; Forest vitality ; Crown condition
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