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Forests 2017, 8(4), 137; doi:10.3390/f8040137

Traditional and Novel Indicators of Climate Change Impacts on European Forest Trees

Department of Agri-Food Production and Environmental Science (DISPAA), Section of Soil and Plant Science, University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine 28, 50144 Firenze, Italy
Forestry Research Centre, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA SEL), Viale Santa Margherita 80, 52100 Arezzo, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
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The concern for the fate of forest ecosystems under climate change demands the development of a prompt and effective system for detecting the impacts of pressure factors, such as rising temperatures, drought conditions, and extreme climatic events. In ongoing European monitoring programs, the health condition of trees is only assessed visually as a matter of course and there is limited evidence that enhanced crown defoliation implies physiological disturbance and reduced tree growth. The progress of the research makes it possible to apply methods developed in experimental conditions in forests for the fast and reliable assessment of impacts and of stress conditions. In this review, we analyze the most promising indicators of tree and forest health (at individual plant and ecosystem levels) for their potential application in forest ecosystems and their ability to support and integrate the traditional visual assessment, provide information on influential factors, and improve the prediction of stand dynamics and forest productivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: defoliation; ecosystem services; monitoring programs; tree diversity; tree health; tree mortality defoliation; ecosystem services; monitoring programs; tree diversity; tree health; tree mortality

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bussotti, F.; Pollastrini, M. Traditional and Novel Indicators of Climate Change Impacts on European Forest Trees. Forests 2017, 8, 137.

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