Large-scale forest condition monitoring (Level I)

Level I monitoring provides an annual overview on forest condition
based on a 16x16 km gridnet covering around 6000 plots in Europe. In
addition soil and foliar analyses are carried out

Crown condition assessments

Crown condition at Level I has proven to be a valuable tool for
detecting status and trends of tree condition in Europe. It is assessed
annually at the European level on all 16 * 16 km Level I points. The
main parameters to be assessed are:

  • Defoliation (percentage of leaf or needle loss)
  • Discolouration
  • Damages visible on the trees

Soil condition assessments

There are clear correlations between the deposition of air pollutants
and forest soil chemistry. Its condition is essential for many
organisms living in the soil and for forest functions like water storage
and filtering. Nutrient imbalances in the soil are linked to tree
health and condition.

More than 5000 ICP Forests Level I plots were monitored in two forest
soil surveys across Europe. The first took place between 1986 and 1996
and the second between 2004 and 2008 under the Forest Focus Regulation
(EC No. 2152/2003).

Foliar survey

Changes in environmental conditions may affect foliar nutrient
concentrations. The monitoring of tree nutrition is thus essential for
assessing forest condition. A foliar survey in the 1990s has covered
appoximately 1400 plots. A number of countries are carrying out repeated
foliar surveys.

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