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30 years of environmental monitoring shows air pollution effects on forests

30 years of study of several hundred plots (obsytor) in Swedish forests have followed the developments of forest damage. The result is a unique material about the effects of air pollution on the forest and its ecosystems up to 2013. BECC researcher Cecilia Akselsson, Lund University, has led the evaluation and Per Erik Karlsson, IVL, is one of the other co-authors of the report.
One of the plots (obsytorna) in Arkelstorp, in northern Skåne.
One of the plots (obsytorna) in Arkelstorp, in northern Skåne.

Skogsstyrelsen started to follow the development of forest damage after alarms about forest damage in the mid-80s. Now the overall environmental monitoring has been evaluated by Lund University, and the results are presented in a new report.

- The uniqueness of the measurements is that the entire chain - from deposition of pollutants to the impact on trees and land - have been measured in numerous locations, with good geographical spread. We have thereby gained much new knowledge about the environmental impact of the exposed forest and how forest ecosystems respond, says Cecilia Akselsson, Lund University, who led the evaluation.

Overall, the report shows that the measurements are good opportunities to study and understand the combined effects of climate change, air pollution and forest management on forest and land. The large amount of collected data can be used to increase awareness of the links between forest health and air pollution, soil condition and other factors affecting forest health, such as climate change and pests.

Furthermore, the report points out the consequences of closing the measurements: reduced ability to monitor and understand the combined effects of climate change, atmospheric deposition and forest management on forest and land.

Authors

Authors of the evaluation report are Cecilia Akselsson (Lund University), Gunilla Pihl Karlsson (IVL), Per Erik Karlsson (IVL), Jenny Ahlstrand (Lund University)

Read more about the evaluation

Find the report "Miljöövervakning på Obsytorna 1984-2013 - Beskrivning, resultat, utvärdering och framtid" here

Link to the press release from Skogsstyrelsen (in Swedish)

Link to article in the magazine SkogsEko (in Swedish), see page 27

Contact

Cecilia Akselsson, Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science. Lund University

Phone +46462228689,  cecilia.akselsson [at] nateko.lu.se

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