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State of Finland's Forests 2012: Finnish Forests in
European context demonstrated with selected indicators

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Health and vitality

Maintenance of health and vitality of forests is crucial for the existence of forests and corresponding to the all products and services form forets. Forest health is affected by several factors simultaneously. Forest health can decline due to abiotic agents such as atmospheric pollutants, exceptional weather conditions or careless harvesting or timber storage. Deteriorating health can also be due to biotic agents such as diseases caused by fungi and insects. Climate change is expected to increase the risk of local damages caused by snow, storms and insects.

Insects and diseases are the damaging agents most frequently observed in Europe, followed by wildlife and grazing. Six percent of the European forest area is affected by one or more damaging agents. Damage due to storms, wind and snow was mainly observed in Central, North and South-West Europe, while damage due to forest fires was mainly reported for South-West and South-East Europe.

Apart from the severe storm damage that occurred locally along narrow belts in summer 2010 and winter 2011, there has been no widespread forest damage in Finland for 30 years. Occasional local forest damage does occur from time to time; in economic terms, the most significant of these are damages caused by fungi and insects, storm damage, and damages to saplings caused by elk. Climate change is estimated to increase forest growth, but on the other hand extreme weather phenomena will probably become more common and cause local damage more frequently.

  Updated: 21.03.2012 /MLier |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated | Copyright Metla | Feedback