- Forest trees respond to an increased frequency of summer heat and drought over the last decade for central Europe. Decreasing vitality of forest trees under such conditions is documented by the data. There were no significant changes in forest health status over the past ten years on two thirds of the plots, but deterioration prevailed on the remaining third.
- Unbalanced nutrient supply in the forest soils caused by nitrogen deposition is widespread and critical nitrogen deposition loads are still exceeded on around half of the plots. Nitrate leaching to the ground waters and relations to vegetation and lichen species diversity are documented by the programme.
- Forests in Europe help mitigate climate change. Carbon uptake by forests is presently thought to correspond to around 10% of the emissions. Monitoring results show that nitrogen deposition accelerated tree growth and thus carbon uptake. But these climate change mitigation effects may decrease in future because forest growth cannot be endlessly accelerated. Growth models in Europe rely on the monitoring data to quantify these effects.
martin [dot] lorenz [at] vti [dot] bund [dot] de, Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute (vTI) -- tel: +49-40-73962-140 http://www.futmon.org -- http://www.icp-forests.org -- http://www.vti.bund.de