European plus-value

Many studies suggested that the stomatal flux-based approach is scientifically-sound and would be a useful tool for ozone risk assessment and for refinement of criteria and thresholds for Mediterranean forest protection.

The results will serve as a decision-support tool for national and European authorities in favour of the implementation of a climate change effects observatory, adaptation of the forest management and implementation of a follow-up system of biodiversity.

The activities, implemented in FO3REST, allow the collection of quantitative and qualitative forest data related to climate change, air pollution and forest condition and will be transferred to the European Forest Data Centre (EFDAC) as well as for dissemination to other authorized stakeholders. At the international level, the most important stakeholder are the several bodies of the European Commission (DG Environment, Joint Research Centre) and the forest sector policies such as the Ministerial Conference for the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), the Kyoto Protocol under the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Pollution (CLRTAP) and the Forest Resources Assessment (FRA).

The activities are carried out in collaboration with the main forest networks of dissemination in the field of air pollution and climate change, that is: IUFRO - Research group 7.01.00 and COST Action FP0903.

FO3REST provides a contribution of information needed for sustainable forest management. Future EU forest monitoring is needed to improve our knowledge of the state of forests in Europe and to quantify as reliably as possible any changes that are taking place within forests and related ecosystems. Most European countries carry out forest monitoring, but the different approaches used by the countries make comparisons at the European level problematic. This creates difficulties for halting the loss of forest biodiversity, thus, we need a harmonized European forest monitoring scheme.

Most experiments to establish biologically relevant plant responses have been performed under controlled conditions not representative of actual field conditions and the results may not provide realistic results for developing standards for protecting vegetation in natural environments. FO3REST is directed toward a specific analysis of ozone symptoms and real damage levels in the field, trying to define more realistic thresholds for vegetation protection against ozone pollution.

FO3REST provides an opportunity to infer an evaluation of the DO3SE model parameterisation through a comparison of observed, with field campaigns, and modelled total O3 deposition and to extend the number of DO3SE model evaluation studies conducted under “Mediterranean style” conditions at 4 locations with 4 different Mediterranean tree species, such as Pinus halepensis, Quercus ilex, Pinus pinaster... with a transfer function to other European regions. FO3REST will expand the sets of site-specific biological, climatic, soil and O3 as well as vegetation damage data, so that flux approaches may be validated. The selected regions are prone to co-occurring elevated ozone concentrations and high soil and atmospheric water deficits. As such, these conditions may lead to large differences in the accumulation of exposure versus flux-based indices that may be especially relevant to European emission abatement formulation.