Daniela Hohenstern
Institute of Forest Ecosystems

Alfred-Möller-Straße 1, Haus 41/42
16225 Eberswalde
Phone: +49 3334 3820 300
Fax: +49 3334 3820 354

Contact persons for

Programme Co-ordinating Centre (PCC) of ICP Forests


 (c) Tanja Sanders

In the 1980s a deterioration of crown condition of forest trees was observed. As air-borne SO2 was taken as the main causal agent, the International Co-operation Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) was launched.

Background and Objective

In the 1980s a continuous deterioration of crown condition of several forest tree species – especially silver fir – was observed. As air pollution – mainly sulphur dioxide – was taken as the main causal agent, an international initiative – ICP Forests – was launched in 1985 under the umbrella of the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) in order to observe and evaluate forest tree crown condition.

The early crown condition assessments, later called the Level I monitoring, were soon supplemented with data on the soil solid phase and foliar element content. A more intensive (Level II) monitoring was established in 1995 with the aim to gain a more thorough understanding of cause-effect relationships in forests. The Level II monitoring includes – partly in high temporal resolution – the collection of data on deposition, soil solution, weather condition, air quality, ground vegetation, tree increment, phenology, litterfall, and visible ozone injuries.

The Programme Co-ordinating Centre (PCC) of ICP Forests is responsible for the programme administration and organization, and the data management. The PCC also edits the extensive ICP Forests Manual and publishes scientific papers and brochures for policy consultancy and the general public.


Within the Level I monitoring, crown condition is assessed annually by the ICP Forests member states on a 16 by 16 km grid (in total around 6,000 plots). The same grid is used for assessments of the soil and foliar condition, which are conducted every 10 to 15 years. The Level II sites (in total around 600 plots) can be regarded as case studies. The respective data are measured or collected continuously or in more or less extended intervals. In order to achieve maximal comparability, all data collections follow the internationally adopted ICP Forests Manual. After several quality checks, the data are fed to the ICP Forests database which is managed by the PCC. These data can then be disseminated to external and internal data applicants according to the ICP Forests data policy, which has been adopted by all 42 ICP Forests member states. Standard evaluations are also performed by the PCC along with participations in more advanced studies undertaken by different scientists from partner organizations across Europe.

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners


Permanent task 10.2013

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing


Results 6 - 10 of 58

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  1. Schmitz A, Sanders TGM, Michel AK, Verstraeten A, Hansen K, Waldner P, Prescher A-K, Zlindra D (2018) Status and trends of inorganic nitrogen deposition to forests in Europe. Eberswalde: Thünen-Institute of Forest Ecosystems, 4 p, ICP Forests Brief 2/2018, DOI:10.3220/ICP1520841823000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 3358 kb
  2. Michel AK, Seidling W (eds) (2017) Forest condition in Europe : 2017 technical report of ICP Forests ; Report under the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). Wien: Bundesforschungszentrum Wald, 128 p, BFW Dokum 24/2017
  3. Michel AK, Seidling W (eds) (2016) Forest condition in Europe : 2016 technical report of ICP forests ; Report under the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). Wien: BFW Bundesforschungszentrum für Wald, 206 p, BFW Dokum 23/2016
  4. Seidling W (ed) (2016) Forest conditions : ICP forests 2016 executive report. Eberswalde: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 20 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 2314 kb
  5. Michel AK, Seidling W (2016) Introduction. BFW Dokum 23/2016:9-10

Results 6 - 10 of 58

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