iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Influence of climate on tree health evaluated by defoliation in the ICP level I network (Romania)

Ionel Popa (1), Ovidiu Badea (1-2), Diana Silaghi (1)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 554-560 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2202-009
Published: May 05, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

Defoliation is the main parameter for assessing tree crown conditions, and is the result of cumulative interactions among different types of stressors, including climate, air pollution, pests and diseases, and management systems. Here, we evaluated a long-term data series (1992-2013) provided by the ICP-Forests Level I monitoring network (16 × 16 km) in Romania. Specifically, we investigated how climate influences defoliation at different spatial and temporal levels using statistical analyses. Using periodic climatic data (mean temperature and precipitation) derived from a daily grid dataset (ROCADA) with a resolution of 0.1 × 0.1° (10 × 10 km), we quantified how climatic parameters were correlated with defoliation, which was expressed as the mean tree defoliation per plot (DEF), and the proportion of damaged trees (crown defoliation > 25% - fDEF). The cross-correlation (Spearman r) between defoliation indicators and temperature was positive and relatively constant over time for all broadleaves and conifers, combined and separately, except for Fagus sylvatica (European beech), which had a negative cross-correlation coefficient. The correlation obtained for precipitation was similar to that obtained for temperature; however, this relationship was negative (except, again, for beech). The temporal influence of temperature on defoliation was much lower than that of precipitation, which had the greatest influence in dry regions (south and southeast Romania), especially for Quercus species. Furthermore, precipitation had a positive influence in moderate climate regions for conifers that were situated outside their natural distribution ranges. For beech and conifers situated at the upper altitudinal limits, temperature was negatively correlated with defoliation, i.e., temperature had a positive influence on health status.


Climate Change, Defoliation, Tree Species, Forest Health, Temperature, Precipitation, Level I

Authors’ address

Ionel Popa
Ovidiu Badea
Diana Silaghi
National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry “Marin Dracea” (INCDS), Eroilor 128, 077190 Voluntari (Romania)
Ovidiu Badea
Transilvania” University of Brasov, Universitatii 1, 500068 Brasov (Romania)

Corresponding author

Diana Silaghi


Popa I, Badea O, Silaghi D (2017). Influence of climate on tree health evaluated by defoliation in the ICP level I network (Romania). iForest 10: 554-560. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2202-009

Academic Editor

Silvano Fares

Paper history

Received: Aug 18, 2016
Accepted: Mar 29, 2017

First online: May 05, 2017
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2017
Publication Time: 1.23 months

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