Further development and implementation of an EU-level forest monitoring system (FutMon)

Litterfall and throughfall collectors in forest monitoring plot at Alice Holt


The main objective of FutMon is to explore the capability of extensive and intensive monitoring across Europe to answer important questions relating to the long term sustainability of forest ecosystems.


Specific objectives

  • Building of capacities for the coordination of harmonised forest monitoring at the national, regional and Community level.
  • Collection of quantitative and qualitative forest data related to climate change, air pollution, biodiversity, and forest condition.
  • Contribution of information needed for sustainable forest management in the form of data related to the improved pan-European Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management.
  • Provision of the network to other projects also aiming at meeting information needs of the European Commission.
  • Scientific analysis of data and the provision of reports focusing on forest conditions and forest soil conditions in relation to air pollution, climate change, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity.

Forest Research involvement

Forest Research has a longstanding interest and involvement in environmental monitoring of forests, and as an Associated Beneficiary in the FutMon project, is leading the further development of intensive monitoring in the UK in order that it can deliver important information of national, European and international relevance.

The project has several workpackages. Those which the Forest Research are participating in include:

  • Revision of large-scale monitoring systems aiming at maximising synergies between forest condition monitoring and the UK National Forest Inventory (work packages L1 and L2).
  • Intensive monitoring on ten monitoring plots, including crown condition, mortality, removals, forest growth, foliar chemistry and litterfall, ground vegetation, soil condition and soil solution chemistry, deposition and meteorology (work package IM1).
  • Collection of more comprehensive data on tree vitality, including assessments of leaf area index, monitoring of phenological events using webcams, continuous measurements of stem circumference, assessments of damage causes, assessments of litterfall (work package D1).
  • Monitoring of element fluxes and nutrient cycling with a view to critical loads assessments (work package D2).
  • Development and application of water budget models with a view to the response of drought stress of trees e.g. as a consequence of climate change, as well as to nutrient uptake and growth (work package D3).

In addition, we will participate in a number of sub projects which involve interlaboratory comparisons of soil, water and plant tissue analyses.

This project supports the Forest Research Intensive long term monitoring of forest ecosystems programme.

Funders, partners and policy

Life+ logo
FutMon is an EU LIFE+ project and involves 38 institutions in 24 EU countries.

It aims at the creation of a pan-European forest monitoring system which can serve as a basis for the provision of policy relevant information on forests in the European Union as required under international obligations and key action 8 of the Forest Action Plan (COM 2006 final).


This project ran through 2009 and 2010 and the data forms part of the overall Intensive forest monitoring in support of ICP Forests programme which is ongoing.


For further information, go to www.futmon.org