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Research article2012Peer reviewedOpen access

Adapting forest health assessments to changing perspectives on threats—a case example from Sweden

Wulff Sören, Lindelöw Åke, Lundin Lars, Hansson Per, Axelsson Anna-Lena, Barklund Pia, Wijk Sture, Ståhl Göran


A revised Swedish forest health assessment system is presented. The assessment system is composed of several interacting components which target information needs for strategic and operational decision making and accommodate a continuously expanding knowledge base. The main motivation for separating information for strategic and operational decision making is that major damage outbreaks are often scattered throughout the landscape. Generally, large-scale inventories (such as national forest inventories) cannot provide adequate information for mitigation measures. In addition to broad monitoring programs that provide time-series information on known damaging agents and their effects, there is also a need for local and regional inventories adapted to specific damage events. While information for decision making is the major focus of the health assessment system, the system also contributes to expanding the knowledge base of forest conditions. For example, the integrated monitoring programs provide a better understanding of ecological processes linked to forest health. The new health assessment system should be able to respond to the need for quick and reliable information and thus will be an important part of the future monitoring of Swedish forests.


Forest health; Monitoring; Forest damage; Resin-top disease; Spruce bark beetle

Published in

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
2012, Volume: 184, number: 4, pages: 2453-2464