Atmospheric Change and Forests study group
The Atmospheric Change and Forests study group has published the North American Forest Health Report to promote forest health assessments in forest and land management. The group is currently conducting studies to monitor pollution at the Desierto de los Leones National Park near Mexico City.
Canada: Denis Lachance
Mexico: Carlos Rodriguez Franco
Mexico: Maria de Lourdes de la Isla de Bauer
Mexico: Tomas Hernandez Tejeda
US: Elvia Niebla
US: Paul Miller
Goals For 1996-1998. Because only partial and preliminary results are available for the three (3) projects underway in Mexico, the goals for this period shall be to continue with the studies, strengthening the data with additional observations, and to generate partial reports by the end of 1997, for the studies. In addition, the document entitled "Historical Record of the Atmospheric Changes and Forests Study Group" will be published.
A - Research Projects:
1."Assessment Of Forest Air Pollution Impact In Western And Eastern United States Regions And In Central Mexico." This large project includes several subprojects:
2."Filter Pack Monitoring At Desierto De Los Leones Using Estc Flow-Controlled Pumps." INIFAP concluded this study in 1995, with the support of Dr. Lucinda R. Smith of the "ESTC" of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The final report is being reviewed and edited. Preliminary results indicate that in Desierto de los Leones in January and February of 1995, SO2 concentrations of 8 1g/m3 were recorded, whereas SO4 concentration levels were six 1g/m3. Nitrogen compound concentrations did not exceed 3 1g/m3. With the support of Dr. Lucinda R. Smith and assistants, INIFAP presented a poster with the study results at the "First North American Workshop on Monitoring for Ecological Assessment of Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems" in September 1995 in Mexico City. Study completed.
3."Canadian System For Early Detection Of Acid Rain." INIFAP is performing this study in Desierto de los Leones, with the support of Drs. Laszlo Magasi and Denis Lachance of the Canadian Forest Service. Thus far only partial and preliminary results are available regarding the status of plant health in the forest. Study in progress.
4."Passive Ozone Monitoring." INIFAP completed a preliminary study with several passive monitors in February and March 1995, with the support of Dr. Roger M. Cox of the Canadian Forest Service, to detect ozone in places where an electronic monitor is not available. The sites monitored were: Desierto de los Leones, Coyoacan, Federal District, and Montecillo, Mexico. The results indicate that high concentrations of ozone exist in those locations, where the air quality standards for Mexico are frequently exceeded.
B - Other Relevant Activities:
1. Historical Record of the Atmospheric Changes and Forests Study Group." It was agreed that a brief history of the study group would be published. Dr. Elvia Niebla is in charge of compiling the information submitted by Group members. The Mexican delegation sent in its contribution.
2. "Crown Assessment Methods/Forest Health Monitoring Systems." The Study Group agreed to examine assessment methods used in forest health monitoring systems in America and in other countries, so that in future, a system for reporting results in a universal manner may be developed. The Committee charged with initiating this process will be formed by: Peter Hall, Joe Bernard and Tomas Hernandez. Dr. Peter Hall distributed a report prepared by Dr. John Innes, a Swiss researcher, based on the principal forest health monitoring systems of Europe, Canada, and the United States. Dr. Hall recommends that this report be used instead of having a new one prepared. Therefore, he proposes that the report be reviewed and proposals be prepared for discussion at the next meeting of the Study Group, to be held in Mexico in 1996. Methods to assessment damage to crowns of trees caused by pollution and/or other factors may be added or compared.
"North American Forest Health Report." In early 1996, with the support of the member countries of this Study Group, the publication on "North American Forest Health" was completed. Five hundred (500) copies were printed in Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Peter Hall, in the three official languages.
Annual meetings will be held to discuss and promote the research that has been done in each country. The most important developments will be recorded, as well as changes in the programs and in perceptions of how atmospheric pollution affects forests. In addition to research-related subjects, the Study Group will be kept abreast of activities involving pollution abatement in each member country. At the annual meetings, the reports on the current state of pollution conditions in each country will be discussed. In the trilingual publications, where joint information is shared, all necessary precautions must be taken to ensure protection of confidential data. In the annual reports, special attention will be paid to ways in which the three countries can help one another. Every meeting shall conclude with an appropriate field visit demonstrating aspects related to the research and control of atmospheric pollution problems.