Forest Health

Forest health is an important research field that probably will become even more important along with climate change. Forest and tree health is influenced by both biotic factors (such as fungi, insects and animals like moose) and abiotic factors (such as climate, soil conditions and nutrient status)

Photo: Volkmar Timmermann

Forest damage can have negative impacts on people and the environment. Healthy forests are a prerequisite for sustainable forestry, carbon sequestration, mitigation of climate change, and delivery of vital ecosystem services. There is still much we do not know about the interactions between trees, pests and pathogens, and climate. The question of how ongoing climate change will influence pest and disease outbreaks is particularly acute.

Climate change will probably increase many types of abiotic forest damage and improve the living conditions for many forest pests and pathogens. This includes both species that already are established in Norway and new invasive species.

It is very difficult to prevent the introduction of invasive species, since they often arrive as stowaways along with imported plants, timber and wood products. Invasive forest pests are often characterized by high reproduction and spread capacity. Once they establish themselves locally, there is often little we can do to prevent further spread into the wider environment. This is why international efforts to prevent spread of pests and pathogens are so important.


Bark beetle monitoring

NIBIO works together with municipalities across Norway to monitor bark beetle populations each year.

Forest damage monitoring in Norway

Long-term forest monitoring is important to detect changes in forest ecosystems over time and may prevent new pests and pathogens from becoming established.

Online Services (these services are available in Norwegian only) provides an updated overview of forest damage in Norway, with description of more than 200 pests and diseases. The service also enables you to find reported damages on a map and to report your own observations.

The forest health image library is a reference tool on organisms that are important for forest health, such as indigenous and invasive fungi and insects. The library includes a collection of images and associated articles written by Norwegian experts.