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Spatial analysis of forest crown condition in Ireland and Italy

Project ID: 39
Funded under: FP5-JRC


The crown condition data compiled under the International Co-operative Programme from 1987 to 1997 has provided a detailed analysis of the forest crown condition in European forests. The extent of defoliation and cause of the damage have been recorded and noticeable temporal trends have been observed. For the purposes of this project, data from Ireland and Italy have been analysed and correlated with interpolated meteorological data in order to determine identifiable trends.

It was observed that Irish forests have been largely unaffected by air pollution and its deleterious effects. Defoliation has been relatively cyclical and was most severe over a three-year period from 1993-1995, which coincided with peaks in insect populations and exceptional climatic conditions.

Defoliation in Italy was less cyclical and results have illustrated a gradual decline in overall forest health. More specifically, it was determined that broadleaved species were more severely defoliated than coniferous species. It will be essential to continue the monitoring of ICP level-I plots in order to determine more accurate temporal and spatial trends in European forest health.

Additional information

Authors: McINERNEY D, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra, (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20404 EN (2002), pp.61. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail:
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