Tree species “declines” that may be associated with large-scale mortalityThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Many of the Evaluation Monitoring ( EM) projects funded by the national Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, have been motivated by perceived regional declines in specific tree species (or groups of species). Sometimes data collected from the FHM program’s former Detection Monitoring (DM) plots [now Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program (Forest Service) phase 3 plots] have suggested that a species or group of species were experiencing decline. Sometimes concern developed based primarily on observations by foresters and researchers working in a particular region. Such projects have focused on determining the extent of these declines, the causal agents responsible, and whether the decline truly represents a serious forest health concern. Often the focus was also on determining if decline symptoms (such as crown dieback) were related to tree mortality. Some projects also considered the potential for forest management or land-use actions to mitigate the problems.