Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A selection of forest condition indicators for monitoring


B.E. Law
R.C. Kucera
A.L. Gallant
R.L. DeVelice
C.J. Palmer



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Southern Research Station


Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 20:21- 33


Regional monitoring and assessments of the health of forested ecosystems require indicators of forest conditions and environmental stresses. Indicator selections depend on objectives and the strategy for data collection and analysis. This paper recommends a set of indicators to signal changes in forest ecosystem distribution, productivity, and disturbance. Additional measurements are recommended to help ascribe those changes to climate variation, atmospheric deposition, and land use patterns. The rationale for these indicators is discusses in the context of a sequential monitoring and assessment strategy.


Riitters, Kurt H.; Law, B.E.; Kucera, R.C.; Gallant, A.L.; DeVelice, R.L.; Palmer, C.J. 1992. A selection of forest condition indicators for monitoring. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 20:21- 33

Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.