Forest Monitoring - Assessment, Analysis and Warning System for Forest Ecosystem Status
AbstractForests provide essential benefits and services as an important component of terrestrial ecosystems. Their functionality and health result from multiple and cumulative interactions of biotic and abiotic stress factors such as air pollution, climate change, changes in land use, and poor management practices. A forest monitoring system was established to identify, analyse and assess the degradation of European forests. Two levels of forest monitoring were developed: I) large-scale forest condition surveys, based on an European grid system starting in 1986 and II) an intensive non-systematic survey network placed in representative forest ecosystems starting in 1994. Romania implemented both level I (1990-1991) and level II (1991-1992) forest monitoring surveys with the results showing the effects of increased air temperatures and a drastic decrease of precipitation since the decade of 1971-1980. Thus, the highest values of damaged trees (crown defoliation >25%) percent were recorded in 1993, 1994, 2000 and 2003 both in the national and European networks. Also, in southern and South-Eastern Romania the forests are more frequently damaged as a response to worsening of climatic factors in this region in recent decades, with temperatures rising 0.7-0.8Â°C. In general, in Romania, ozone concentrations remained below the critical threshold (40-50 ppb) for affecting growth or health of trees. The levels of S-SO4 and N-NO3 declined in the atmosphere but the accumulation continued to increase in the soil, leading to soil acidification, mainly at depths of 10-40 cm). In general, during the last decade, Romanian forests were affected at low to medium intensities with damage rate up to 11% of the trees and the status of general forest health improved slightly.
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