Forest Decline and Ozone: Synopsis

  • H. SandermannJr.
  • A. R. Wellburn
  • R. L. Heath
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 127)


There are two main definitions of forest decline. The operational definition is based on the visual damage inventory (loss and yellowing of needles or leaves, changes in morphology) that was newly introduced in the early 1980s. Appreciable damage rates in various tree species have been found by applying it (FBW 1989). The operational definition is purely descriptive and does not contain claims of specificity of the symptoms or of a trend in damage development. Furthermore, it has not been linked to rates of wood formation or any defined natural or anthropogenic causal factor. In contrast, the functional definitions of forest decline are based on a causal analysis of the various abiotic and biotic disease factors that play a role in the turnover and population shifts of forest trees (Manion 1981,Schwerdtfeger 1981). Yet this definition is very difficult to apply. Meaningful ecological conclusions depend on a transition from the operational to the functional level of forest decline studies. Interestingly, the lack of adequate data has led most of the authors of this book to use operational definitions of forest decline.


Growth Effect Wood Formation Ozone Exposure Diagnostic Parameter Photochemical Oxidant 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. SandermannJr.
  • A. R. Wellburn
  • R. L. Heath

There are no affiliations available

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