Forest Health Monitoring Research
Problem 1a. Key elements are needed to improve existing monitoring systems and to develop new sampling and survey designs, measurement techniques, and estimation procedures for forest survey and inventory. 1) Complete an analysis of the power of the Phase 3 Crown Indicator to detect change. Present results at the national FIA symposium and publish in proceedings. 2) Develop a spatial scan tool designed to identify spatial clustering of Phase 3 Detection plot locations that exhibit signs of adverse forest health. 3) Assist Mexican scientists with pilot testing of forest health indicators on a monitoring system based on the FHM/FIA Phase 3 plot network. 4) Publish GTR to serve as a reference manual to help citizen scientist groups plan and implement practical monitoring systems. 5) Publish journal article on the use of Densiometers for forest health monitoring. 6) Develop ground-based monitoring system along Appalachian Trail to detect early signs of climate change and other regional stressors. 7) Coordinate Production of FIA Phase 2 and Phase 3 Field Guides, and FIA Database (FIADB) User Guides. Problem 1b. Protocols are needed to integrate data, models, and interpretation techniques to assess forest health and conduct risk assessments and analyses at multiple scales. 1) Produce the FHM national technical reports 2) Publish Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessment (MAIA) GTR, and post technical summary and other key information on EFETAC website . 3) Complete three chapters for GTR synthesizing results of FHM Evaluation Monitoring projects funded between 1998 and 2007: 4) Produce risk map for Mediterranean Pine Engraver. 5) Publish instruction manual describing risk-map production techniques. 6) Journal article on special detection surveys for introduced pests. 7) Publish articles on risk analysis and pest invasion models, Montreal Process conceptual models, and impact of fypsy moth in urban areas. 8) Develop software to model the spread of invasive pests using a Bayesian network approach. Problem 1c. Protocols are needed to utilize spatial analyses and principles of landscape ecology in forest health monitoring and assessment, including interactions between nature and society. 1) Analyze forest fragmentation and publish results two RPA reports. 2) Analyze rangeland fragmentation for FIA's Oregon Range Pilot 3) Analyze forest fragmentation and publish results in the 2010 Montreal Process 5-year report. 4) Publish an analysis of fragmentation change based on comparisons between the current and previous NLCD cover maps. 5) Develop standard set of fragmentation analytical products for state-level analyses for use by S&PF and FIA analysts. Problem 1d. Protocols are needed to utilize data from long-term comprehensive monitoring of key ecosystem processes and components in forest health assessments. 1) Utilize historic FHM and FIA data to analyze increased levels of crown dieback observed in Northern White Cedars in Maine and Michigan. 2) Deliver software necessary to integrate data from FIA forest plots in urban areas with FIA nonforest (urban pilot) plots in urban areas. 3) Publish paper based on FHM urban street-tree data collected in MA and MD.
The studies needed in order to meet the objectives identified above involve a broad range of statistical techniques, spatial analyses, and computer simulation and modeling. Few of the studies require acquisition of new field data. Instead, the research teams involved in these analyses rely upon data collected by the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA) or other State or Federal partners. Production of the National Forest Health Monitoring Reports, which serve as an outlet for much of the research identified here, is accomplished through a cooperative agreement with the North Carolina State University.
Tracking the health of forest ecosystems is a legal mandate essential to effective management. Distinguishing symptomatic changes in forest structure, composition, and productivity from natural variation is a challenge at scales ranging from individual stands to regional landscapes. The Forest Health Monitoring Program is a national collaborative effort involving State and Federal agencies to monitor long-term trends in forest conditions and productivity. Continued improvement is needed to overcome key scientific obstacles and to demonstrate technical advances for implementation.