FORECOMON 2021 – The 9th Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Conference

WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland, 7-9 June 2021

Forest Monitoring to assess Forest Functioning under Air Pollution and Climate Change

Climate change and air pollution affect forest ecosystems in many different ways. Drought periods, as the one in 2018, strongly reduce tree growth and increase tree mortality in Europe and elsewhere. At the same time, elevated air pollution affect forests from the leaf to ecosystem level. While societies’ expectations to forests are increasing and forests have become focal points for local, national and global interests, the provision of ecosystem services such as timber production, water purification, and carbon sequestration is more and more endangered. To address the impact of global change on forest ecosystems and their resilience, long-term data series are indispensable to evaluate status, trends and processes in forest ecosystems.

Three decades of monitoring effects from air pollution within ICP Forests operating under Air Convention, have provided a harmonized and standardized asset of long-term data series which allows scientists, stakeholders and policy makers to address the status and predict the fate of European forest ecosystems and their functioning in a changing environment.

The goal of FORECOMON 2021 is to highlight the extensive ICP Forests data series on forest growth, phenology, biodiversity, nutritional status of foliage and litter fall, ambient air quality, deposition, meteorology, soil and crown condition. We combine novel modeling approaches and integrate long-term trends to assess air pollution and climate effects on European forests and related ecosystem services. Latest results and conclusions from local scale to European scale studies will be presented and discussed.

As enrichment of the scientific scope of the conference, we are delighted to announce the following keynotes, presented by renowned scientists:

  • “Forests in transition - learning from current extremes to assess future pathways” Prof. Andreas Rigling (WSL/ETHZ)
  • “Forest soil carbon cycle under drought - linking experiments, monitoring and natural gradients across Switzerland” by Dr. Frank Hagedorn (WSL)
  • “Accounting for time: long-term effects of N addition on forest bio-geochemistry and C sequestration” by Prof. Federico Magnani (UNIBO)
  • “Responses of Swiss forests to long- and short-term environmental changes” by Prof. Nina Buchmann (ETHZ)

FORECOMON 2021 will be from 7-9 June 2021 followed by the 37th Task Force Meeting of ICP Forests, taking place on 10-11 June 2021 at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL in Birmensdorf nearby Zurich and by a Post-Conference Excursion from 11-12 June 2021 in the Swiss Alps.

The 2021 Summer School FORMON on the same topic “Forest Monitoring to assess Forest Functioning under Air Pollution and Climate Change”, taking place on 22-28 August 2021 in Davos, Switzerland will complement the Scientific Conference. The 2021 Summer School FORMON is supported by ICP Forests, the SwissForestLab and the European Network for Forest Research and higher Education NFZ.forest.net and aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the concepts, approaches, and available data infrastructure of forest long-term monitoring. Novel modelling and assessment approaches will be discussed considering the expectations to future forests from a scientific, forest management, and socio-economic perspective.

The uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic challenge us all on a daily basis. To help you plan your physical or virtual participation in FORECOMON 2021, please refer to the latest information from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, especially regarding possible travel restrictions.