Monitoring Vegetation Community Health
Overview of Forest Health Monitoring Program
The Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program is a national program
managed by the US Forest Service designed to determine the status, changes, and
trends in indicators of forest condition on an annual basis.
- Initiated in 1990 to provide information on the status, changes, and
trends in forest health and sustainability.
- The Plot Component of FHM was integrated with the Forest Inventory and Analysis
program in 1999.
- The FHM program provides information on all forest lands to
land-managers and policy makers that affects, directly or indirectly, all
Objectives of the Forest Health Monitoring System:
- Establish a monitoring system throughout the forests of the United
States to determine detrimental changes or improvements that occur over
- Provide baseline and health trend information that is statistically
precise and accurate.
- Report annually on status and changes to forest health.
Major FHM Activities:
- Detection Monitoring – nationally
standardized aerial and ground surveys to evaluate status and change in
condition of forest ecosystems.
- Evaluation Monitoring - projects to
determine extent, severity, and causes of undesirable changes in forest
health identified through Detection Monitoring.
- Intensive Site Monitoring – to
enhance understanding of cause-effect relationships by linking Detection
Monitoring to ecosystem process studies and assess specific issues, such as
calcium depletion and carbon sequestration, at multiple spatial scales.
- Research on Monitoring Techniques – to develop or improve indicators,
monitoring systems, and analytical techniques, such as, urban and riparian
forest health monitoring, early detection of invasive species, multivariate
analyses of forest health indicators, and spatial scan statistics.
- Analysis and Reporting - synthesis of information from various data
sources within and external to the Forest Service to produce issue-driven
reports on status and change in forest health at National, Regional, and
- Tree Growth
- Tree Regeneration
- Tree Crown Condition
- Tree Damage
- Tree Mortality
- Lichen Communities
- Ozone Bioindicator-Plants
- Soil Morphology and Chemistry
- Vegetation Structure
- Plant Diversity
Details of Forest Health Monitoring
A full manuals of field guides and protocols
for Forest Health Monitoring can be viewed and down loaded from the Forest
Health Monitoring Website at:
View this PowerPoint
Presentation (3.5 Mb
for a more detailed a brief overview of the FHM protocol presented by Borys M.
Tkacz, National Program Manager for the FHM project
Also, explore the Forest Health
Monitoring web site and the Fact Sheets about the FHM program.