Federal government forest condition survey: Condition of Germany’s forests cause for concern
Further reduction of pollutant inputs necessary
The Federal Government published the results of its forest condition survey on 10 June 2009. The report identifies the causes for what continues to be the poor condition of forests and also identifies countermeasures. The survey of the condition of forests in Germany demonstrates that two thirds of all forest trees remain damaged, of which 26 percent are ‘severely damaged’. More than half of all oaks show evidence of crown defoliation, a record high. The roots of this poor condition in forests are traceable to a number of factors, of which anthropogenically produced air pollution - particularly nitrogen compounds - is largely responsible. The integrated strategy to control nitrogen emissions introduced by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) suggests that measures to reduce nitrogen emissions produced in the agricultural sector, which include sparing use of nitrogen-based commercial fertiliser and using feed that has been optimised with regard to nitrogen, are especially effective and cost-efficient. They also produce synergy effects as both waters and the climate also benefit from them.