Forest damage has long been recorded and is caused by naturalphenomena (disease and pests, storms, fire, drought and other climatic stresses) or human-induced ones (eg, air pollution, fire, economic overexploitation, overgrazing), or by the interaction of human impacts and natural causes. This chapter focuses on the two most important causes of forest degradation across Europe: air pollution, which is a serious threat to the sustainability of forest resources in Central, Eastern and, to a lesser extent, Northern Europe, and fire, which is a major concern in Southern Europe. The degradation of forest quality in the sense of its authenticity is discussed in Chapter 9, where a non-exhaustive list of remaining semi-natural forests of ecological value in Europe is given. The overall changes in species composition, age structure and management are developed in Chapter 23.


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34.1 - Introduction
34.2 - Damage attributed to atmospheric pollution

34.2.1 - Historical background
34.2.2 - The problem
34.2.3 - Launching of national and transnational surveys
34.2.4 - Data analysis - Species - Climatic regions - Trends over time

34.2.5 - Causes
34.2.6 - Economic effects
34.2.7 - Options
34.2.8 - Conclusions

34.3 - Damage due to fire

34.3.1 - Introduction
34.3.2 - The problem
34.3.3 - The facts
34.3.4 - The causes - Natural causes - Accidents, negligence and arson - Management practices

34.3.5 - Consequences of fire on the environment
34.3.6 - Economic costs
34.3.7 - Strategies for prevention and fighting fires - Fire prevention - Fire watch - Fire control - Fire as a management tool

34.3.8 - Conclusions



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