Project Control Forest Ecosystems (ICP Forests)

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The permanent areas of the CONECOFOR project are part of the monitoring network for atmospheric pollution of the programmes ONU-ECE ICP Forests (International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests) and ICP IM (International Cooperative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems), which are ongoing programmes under the aegis of the Geneva Convention on long-range trans-boundary air pollution (CLRTAP).

The National Network for the Control of Forest Ecosystems (CONECOFOR) was set up in 1995 by the Italian State Forestry Commission, with the objective of studying the ecological interactions between the structural and functional components of forest ecosystems and the factors of pressure and large-scale change (atmospheric pollution, climate change, changes in biodiversity levels) Forest Focus.

Since 2009 research activity on the CONECOFOR Italian forest areas has been channelled into a new project called FutMon .

The CONECOFOR areas cover the whole of Italy, primarily in mountainous areas between 700 and 1900 m a.s.l., and are representative of the main Italian forest communities (beech, spruce, Turkey oak, holm oak, planitial forest etc). In these areas detailed research is performed on vegetation, crown condition, the chemical content of leaves and soil, changes in tree growth, atmospheric deposition, climate and microclimate, ozone and biodiversity.

Since 1997 the CNR-ISE of Verbania has been responsible for research into atmospheric deposition in the permanent areas of the CONECOFOR Project.

Under this project the concentrations of the different ions are measured in open field, throughfall and stemflow deposition, and in runoff water. Sampling detail are reported in Tartari G.A. et al. (2015).

Data analysis was used to understand ecosystem response to the deposition chemistry. In some areas, the level of nitrogen saturation of ecosystem soils was also estimated.