The threats posed by anthropogenic pollution of the environment have resulted in animated public debate about forest condition and growth. Therefore, research into forest condition and vitality has been one of the key areas in forest ecology during the past two decades. The basic questions presented have been:
What changes are taking place in forests?
Why does forest condition vary, and why do trees appear to be suffering?
How can forest condition be maintained?
This report covers forest condition and changes in environmental factors on the basis of the latest findings of Finnish research as well as research results in other countries. The synthesis is based on the monitoring of forest condition at the national level which started in 1985 in accordance with the international methodology, and on a number of long-term special cause-effect and silvicultural studies. In addition, scientific literature is widely reviewed.
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