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Department of Forest Protection
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Main task of the Department of Forest Protection is to investigate biotic and abiotic harmful factors, to develop control strategies and to provide the basic data for legal air pollution control measures. Monitoring and interdisciplinary forest protection projects, also within the framework of international cooperation programmes, provide substantial basic information for environmental policy measures. Another key task of the Department is to provide information and expert advice to forest enterprises, forest authorities, training centres, nurseries and individuals. In addition, the Department Phytosanitary Service fulfils statutory tasks in the field of quarantine pest control.

Priority Areas of Work

Regarding the dramatic increase of bark beetle damaged wood following the extremely high summer temperatures in 2003, draught and storm damage in some alpine valleys, the department has installed bark beetle monitoring plots in several parts of Austria.
Non-treated packing wood provides an ideal pathway for the introduction of pests from exotic countries.  Spread of such invasive organisms can lead to devastation of  forest stands. The Phytosanitary Service is responsible for the inspection of packing wood from non-European countries in compliance with EU regulations.
Plant analyses are used to identify air pollutants and to monitor the nutrient supply. For this purpose, in autumn leaf and needle samples are taken from the canopy and nutritional status determined through foliar analysis in the laboratory. The results are submitted to the provincial authorities providing substantial information for forest policy decision-making and certification of industrial plants.
The testing and development of alternative methods and tools for pest control with special emphasis on environmentally sound (biological) methods is part of the tasks of the department.
Woody plants are affected by numerous abiotic and biotic agents. The identification of pathogens is a central task. The department offers a diagnostic service for the public as well as an online information system as a support for diagnoses, providing illustrations of numerous pathogens and information on symptoms, biology, impact and control (tree diseases, damaging insects, abiotic causes of disorders).

Main Tasks and Activities

  • Development of control strategies against biotic and abiotic damaging factors
  • Data collection as a tool for legal air pollution control measures
  • Expert opinion on biotic and abiotic damaging factors
  • Expert advice to forest enterprises, forest authorities, training centres, nurseries and individuals
  • Foliar analysis to determine air pollutants and nutritional status
  • Phytosanitary Service to protect the forest against quarantine pest

Contact

Head of Department: Privatdozent DI Dr. Gernot Hoch
Tel. +43-1-87838-1155, email: gernot.hoch@bfw.gv.at

Secretary Doris Schuh
Tel.
+43-1-87838-1131 or -1132, Fax +43-1-87838-1250
email: doris.schuh@bfw.gv.at
Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8, 1131 Vienna, Austria
Tomiczek, C.; Khorchidi, M.
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Austria, 1131 Vienna, Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8 | Tel.: +43 1 878 38-0, direktion@bfw.gv.at
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