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The concern about an increased observation of unknown forest damage in Europe lead in the 1980¿s to the establishment of two European programmes on the protection of forests against atmospheric pollution and other stress factor: The International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) and the European Union Scheme on the Protection of Forests against Atmospheric Pollution (EUForestry measures). In the framework of these two programmes a large-scale transnational monitoring network (level I) was established. On this grid, annual crown condition surveys have been carried out since 1986/87. In addition to these observations a survey of the forest soil condition and a survey of the chemical content of needles and leaves were carried out. 16 European countries participated in the foliar survey of the systematic grid and submitted their results to the Forest Foliar Coordinating Centre (FFCC) set up at the Austrian Federal Forest Research Centre (Vienna). The major activities of FFCC were the storage, quality control, evaluation and presentation of the received data. The preparation of the present report was made possible thanks to
- the submission of data and reports by the participating countries to FFCC
- financial support granted by the Austrian Government and the European Commission (EC)
- the advice given by the Foliar Expert Panel
- the scientific work carried out by FFCC.
This report summarizes the results of the first survey of the chemical content of needles and leaves carried out on the systematic grid (16x16 km; level I) in the framework of the International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) and the European Union Scheme on the Protection of Forests against Atmospheric Pollution.
The needle and leaf analytical data provide information on the actual nutrient state of forest trees on a European-wide basis, and also any possible nutrient imbalances that may be of importance in connection with new-type forest damage. In addition, such data can also be used as indicators to assess the site specific stress situation caused by air pollution and air-borne depositions. Correlative studies with other datasets within the ICP-Framework (Crown and Soil Condition datasets) is also possible.
The foliar database contains information on 1395 plots in 16 European countries (Austria, Belgium-Wallonia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republik, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Russia-St. Petersburg Region, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom). The survey was carried out using a common methodology. The comparability of the data was ensured by means of two intercalibration tests, which demostrated that macronutrients with a slight exeption for sulphur and some micronutrient concentrations could be compared across participating countries.
The first evaluation of the data showed that a wide range in foliar
nutrient concentrations exists in the countries in Europe. Generally, most
plots have an adequate nutrient status. In a relative high number of plots in
Germany, Slovakia and from United Kingdom high levels of nitrogen and sulphur
were found. The results of German Lands with high air pollution-related
nitrogen and sulphur values give the evaluation of the nutrient and air
pollution situation a different dimension than if only the results of 1995
(Germany-Lower Saxony) are considered. In contrast, in an important
number of plots low nitrogen concentrations were observed especially in
Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Lithuania, Norway and Russia - St. Petersburg