The Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program’s annual national report uses FHM data, as well as data from a variety of other programs, to provide an overview of forest health based on the criteria and indicators of sustainable forestry framework of the Santiago Declaration. It presents information about the status of and trends in various forest health indicators nationwide and uses statistically valid analysis methods applicable to large-scale ecological assessments. Five main sections correspond to the Santiago criteria: Biological Diversity, Productive Capacity, Health and Vitality, Conservation of Soil, and Carbon Cycling. A variety of indicators contribute information about the status of each forest ecosystem considered. Many indicators use data collected from ground plots. Such indicators include species diversity (tree and lichens), bioindicator species (lichens and vascular plants sensitive to ozone), changes in trees (crown condition, damage, and mortality), physical and chemical soil characteristics, and aboveground and belowground carbon pools. Additional information about forest health status and change is derived from data that are used to measure forest extent; data about insects and pathogens; and remotely sensed and/or groundbased data about forest fragmentation, fire, and air pollution. A sixth section presents and discusses a multivariate analysis of the indicators. The technique provides a composite picture of forest health, based on statistically significant principal components.
criteria and indicators
Conkling, Barbara L.; Coulston, John W.; Ambrose, Mark J., eds. 2005. Forest health monitoring: 2001 national technical report. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-81. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 204 p.