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LARGE-SCALE MONITORING Joseph E. Barnard, Program Manager NATIONAL VEGETATION SURVEY Forestry Sciences Laboratory Southeastern Forest Experiment Station P.O. Box 12254 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 ABSTRACT The need to begin monitoring and visible symptom identification on forest trees is evident. Monitoring of forests can be defined as the long-term, periodic measurement of selected physical and biological parameters for establishing baselines, that is, for determining the extent and magnitude of current conditions for specified forest values, and for detecting and quantifying change over time. Within the Forest Response Program, the National Vegetation Survey (NVS) is responsible for survey and monitoring of U.S. forests. Four general categories of research are underway in the NVS: (l) Dendrochronology, (2) Mensuration and Statistics, (3) Mapping and Geographic Information Systems, and (4) Monitoring. Results of several NVS projects are discussed. Research is underway to develop and implement appropriate inventory techniques to assess the current health of forest trees and stands. This includes evaluations of procedures to identify and rate specific kinds of air pollution damage on forest trees, field plot measurement procedures and techniques, remote sensing applications, soil and moisture rating procedures, and the assessment of current impact of air pollutants on species with known visible symptoms. As an aid for identifying locations where there may be air pollution impacts, a Geographic Information System has been developed for the South to provide information on forest resources, climate, soils, and atmospheric depostition. Existing inventory data and procedures, while providing important insights, have not met present analytical needs. Now we have an opportunity to design and perhaps implement a monitoring program as a legacy of research on the effects of acidic deposition on forests. This opportunity will involve an effort to identify and coordinate all aspects of forest condition monitoring. There is continuing interest in the assessment of the condition and trends of the Nation's natural resources (Barnard et al., 1985~. Monitoring of forests can be defined as the long-term, periodic measurement of selected physical and biological parameters for establishing baselines and to detect and quantify change over time. With monitoring, we can determine the extent and magnitude of current conditions for 57
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58 specified forest values in relation to natural plausible cause-effect hypotheses to explain these observations, and management or regulatory actions where appropriate. and anthronoŁenic stresses, generate suggest When the National Vegetation Survey (NVS) began in 1985, those involved in the planning of the research effort recognized: a. The limitations imposed by time and funding. b. The extent of the forest area in question. acres needed to be considered. The European literature and personal communications indicated that radial growth declines had preceded the appearance of visible symptoms of foliage loss and/or discoloration in the crowns of most of the species being studied. d. The lack of a clearly defined or recognized visible symptomatology for atmospheric pollutant damage to most eastern United States forests or individual trees. e. The availability of a number of extensive remeasured plot or increment core data sets for much of the forested area of concern. c. Probably more than 300 million They also were aware that scientists had observed foliar damage, unexplained decline, and death of trees of various species in the eastern United States and were raising the concern that atmospheric pollutants were involved. Thus, it seemed appropriate that the initial research should focus on the evaluation of existing data and be conducted in such a manner that early results would guide the future direction of the studies (Barnard, 1986~. Four general categories of research were followed: (1 ) Dendrochronology, (2) Mapping and Geographic Information Systems, (3) Mensuration and Statistics, and (4) Monitoring. Progress in each of these areas of research is such that we are now revisiting the issue of additional field work to describe more fully the current health (especially the visible component) of the eastern U.S. forest resource. The availability of the manual, for Diagnosing Injury To Eastern Forest Trees (Skelly et al., 1987), as well as further experience by inventory experts in the United States and Europe were important factors in this decision. RESULTS OF STUDIES IN THE NATIONAL VEGETATION SURVEY A brief discussion of the results of several studies conducted by investigators with NVS funding is appropriate to this discussion. Since monitoring is the specific topic of interest, I will limit the discussion to information related to that subject. Den dro chronology Researchers in the NVS have been using the techniques of dendrochronology (and developing more powerful statistical applications) to enable the evaluation of evidence for change in the growth patterns of a number of eastern tree species. The effort has concentrated on New York and the New England region with some additional studies of spruce and loblolly pine in the South. O Research studies conducted by Hornbeck, Smith and Federer (1986), Federer and Hornbeck (1987) and Van Deusen (1987) have identified a definite decline since 1960 in the basal area growth rate of second-growth stands (age 60-75 years) of red spruce and balsam fir growing at elevations less than 700 m
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~9 throughout New England and New York. In-depth analysis of the data and comparison to published findings in the mid-1920s has identified stand dynamics as the major factor in the growth rate change. Although these analyses have not completely eliminated the possible role of atmospheric pollutants, THEY HAVE DEMONSTRATED THAT THE DECREASE IN BASAL AREA INCREMENT OVER THE PAST 20 TO 25 YEARS IS EXPLICABLE AT LEAST IN PART BY NATURAL GROWTH PROCESSES. Research using increment cores collected throughout New England has demonstrated that ALL MAJOR FOREST TREE SPECIES EXCEPT BALSAM FIR AND RED SPRUCE ARE CURRENTLY GROWING AT RATES THAT EQUAL OR EXCEED THE RATES PRIOR TO 1960 (Hornbeck, Smith and Federer, 1986~. A more rigorous statistical procedure (the Kalman filter) has been successfully applied to the analysis of tree ring data (Van Deusen, 1987~. Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Scientists in the NVS are using this potentially interrelated data on a common base. capability to store and display O The Southern Atlas, consisting of four specific data bases, is in place and is being used to address issues related to the research needs of the Southern Commercial Forest Research Cooperative. The system is designed to be responsive to direction by researchers with specific information needs related to vegetation, climate, soils, and atmospheric deposition in particular regions. Currently the data base is complete for Georgia and North and South Carolina. Data for the remaining southern states are being input as rapidly as possible. The location and condition of all the spruce/fir stands in the southern Appalachian Mountains are stored in the GIS. Maps and appropriate data summaries are prepared and made available on a regular basis. The GIS contains the location and local land-use description of all atmospheric monitoring stations in the South. These data have been used to define procedures and to address other questions specific to the use of air pollution and deposition data for evaluation of forest conditions in the South. Mensuration and Statistics Researchers in the NVS have been analyzing data collected according to standard forest mensurational procedures and techniques. Using statistical procedures to assist in the identification of the distribution patterns of these biological data, they apply the rules of probability to the evaluation of the data. Specific applications have included the deposition gradient studies in Pennsylvania and the North Central region, the Southeastern Stations Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data base, and the southwide softwood remeasurement data base. Each of the above data bases is in place and currently undergoing specific statistical evaluation. There have been some findings of a preliminary nature, but major results are anticipated later this year. O Statistical analysis and modeling of the FIA data set has assisted in the clarification of hypotheses regarding the stand development factors and associated
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60 changes in stand growth patterns for loblolly pine (Sheffield et al., 1985 and Knight, 1987~. Recent, more rigorous statistical analyses have verified the earlier finding of a significant difference in the growth of natural loblolly pine in the Piedmont region of Georgia and North and South Carolina between the last two decades. A study nearing completion will identify the significant factors, either natural or anthropogenic, associated with the change. Analyses of data from the two gradient studies are moving toward completion and several manuscripts have been prepared. One manuscript describes a sulphur gradient in the forest soils that corresponds to the deposition gradient for that region. Monitoring Since the NVS began, scientists have been keenly aware of the need to monitor the forest resource with respect to its condition or health status. Although existing inventory activities enabled some level of comparison analysis, it was not possible to make the detailed statistical evaluations needed to define and identify probable causes. While defining and identifying what a monitoring effort should include, researchers also identified other specific procedural and measurement needs which have been addressed. The most significant of these was the documentation of atmospheric deposition symptoms on trees. O A manual with over 100 color plates showing recognized air pollution damage symptoms on trees and indications of other nonpollutant stresses that may produce similar symptoms has been prepared by a panel of experts and is now available for use by scientists, foresters, pathologists, and other interested individuals. A German translation of the text and figures has been prepared and is in the printing process. Remotely-sensed data from a satellite thematic mapper is being evaluated for its potential as an early indicator of stress that may be induced by atmospheric pollutants in forest trees. This summer, photographic representations of selected bands from the TM scenes are being evaluated at the intensive research sites of the Spruce/Fir Research Cooperative by field crews familiar with the forest conditions at each site. Evaluation of results is anticipated early this fall. A bioindicator survey for ozone injury in natural loblolly pine stands in the Piedmont of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia was conducted (Chappelka et al., 1986~. The study identified and clarified the plants (both trees and shrubs) most likely to be of value as indicators in future survey or monitoring work in the Piedmont. However, as Jones and Heck have noted in Worf ( 1980), plants used as bioindicators do not serve as monitors as I have defined monitoring in this paper. They are indicators of pollution presence above some threshold level. A series of plots has been established in the spruce/fir forests of New England and New York and repeated visits by trained pathologists and entomologists are ongoing to identify and describe the development of damage symptoms on individual trees (Miller-Weeks et al., 1987~. Whenever possible, the cause of such damage is being identified and documented. The European and an American visual damage assessment procedure are being used as part of this study. They provide a baseline and some data for comparison to survey data being
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61 distributed by the UN-ECE annual forest damage survey. The third series of measurements is underway this field season. No specific air pollution related damage symptoms have been identified thus far In the study. DISCUSSION Research is underway to develop and implement appropriate inventory techniques to assess the current health of forest trees and stands. This includes evaluations of procedures to identify and rate specific kinds of air pollution damage on forest trees, field plot measurement procedures and techniques, remote sensing applications, soil and moisture rating procedures, and the assessment of current impact of air pollutants on species with known visible symptoms. The manual for diagnosing visible symptoms is published. The Spruce Symptomatology study has established baseline information on visual symptoms occurring in these forest stands. Some contrasts have been noted between red spruce in the US and spruce data from Europe. Atmospheric deposition monitoring has identified regional gradients in the deposition of a number of species of air pollutants. Several such gradients are being studied to identify possible impacts of such deposition on forest growth and soil chemical properties. There are two studies sponsored by the NVS, one across western and central Pennsylvania and the other across Minnesota and Michigan, to evaluate the impact of sulphur deposition on growth of trees in the forests of those areas. Data collection and laboratory analysis is completed and analysis are underway. Publications presenting initial results of the analysis of these data are prepared. One manuscript discusses the verification of a sulphur gradient in the forest soil that corresponds to the atmospheric sulphur deposition gradient for the region. - . . With the implementation of the GIS Atlas for the South, researchers can make use of the system on an as needed basis. They can develop maps that describe the vegetation, climate, soils, and atmospheric deposition patterns for specific areas of interest. In this way it is possible to identify locations where the potential for air pollution impacts on forest vegetation is greatest. This will guide the development of monitoring activities as well as focusing research on damage appraisal and growth changes. The need to begin monitoring and visible symptom identification on forest trees is evident. The study of incremental growth in trees has not identified a measurable pollutant-related response. Inventory data and procedures, while providing important insights, have not met present analytical needs of researchers in the Forest Response Program. We realize that part of this problem was due to the original design of the inventories involved. Now we have an opportunity to design and perhaps implement a monitoring program as a legacy of research on the effects of acidic deposition on forests. A proposal for a substantial research effort to identify and correlate all aspects of forest condition monitoring into an implementable package has been developed and will be reviewed later this summmer prior to its circulation as a request for research proposals. REFERENCES Barnard, J.E. 1986. National Vegetation Survey/Forest Response Program. In Proceedings, Fourth regional technical conference, Appalachian Society of American Foresters: Atmospheric deposition and forest productivity. Raleigh, NC, January 29-31, 1986.
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62 Barnard, J., Myers, W., Pearce, I., Ramsey, F., Siisenwine, M. and Smith, W. 1985. Surveys for monitoring changes and trends in renewable resources: forests and marine fisheries. American Statistician 39~4~: 363-373. Chappelka, A.H., Chevone, B.I., Brown, H.D. and Anderson, R.L. 1986. Bioindicator survey for ozone injury in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina [Abstract] Phytopathology 76~10) No. 222:1085. Federer, C. Anthony and Hornbeck, James W. 1987. Expected decrease in diameter growth of even-aged red spruce. Canadian Journal Forest Research 17:266-269. Hornbeck, James W., Smith, Robert B. and Fecierer, C. Anthony. 1986. Growth decline in red spruce and balsam fir relative to natural processes. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 3 1:425-430. Miller-Weeks, M., Millers, I., and Cooke, R. 1987. Description of crown symptoms on red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) in the Northeastern United States - A Progress Report. In Proceedings of the effects of atmospheric pollution on spruce and fir forests in the eastern United States and the Federal Renublic of Germany; Burlington, VT. October 19-23, 1987. (in press). Knight, Herbert A. 1987. The pine decline. Journal of Forestry 85~1~:25-28. Sheffield, R.M., Cost, N.D., Bechtold, W.A., and McClure, J.P. 1985. Pine Growth reductions in the Southeast. USDA For. Serv. Resource Bull. SE- 83. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. Asheville, NC. 112 pp. Skelly, J. M., Davis, D. D., Merrill, W., Cameron, E. A., Brown, H. D., Drummond, D. B., and Dochinger, L. S. 1987. Diagnosing injury to eastern forest trees: A manual for identifying damage caused by air pollution, pathogens, insects, and abiotic stresses. The Pennsylvania State University, College of Agriculture, University Park, PA. 120 PPe Van Deusen, Paul C. 1987. Testing for stand dynamics effects on red spruce growth trends. Canadian Journal Forest Research 17:1487-1495. Worf, Douglas L. 1980. Biological Monitoring for Environmental Effects. Lexington Books, D.C. Heath and Company. Lexington, MA. 227 pp.
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