Canadian Forest Service Publications

Forest health monitoring in Canada: How healthy is the boreal forest? 1995. Hall, J.P. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 82: 77-85.

Year: 1995

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 21016

Language: English

Availability: Not available through the CFS (click for more information).

Mark record


The Canadian boreal forest covers 299.2 Mha which is two-thirds of Canada's forest and runs in a continuous belt from Newfoundland north and west to the Yukon. The major species are spruce, pines, balsam fir, white birch and trembling aspen often occuring in extensive monocultures. Wildfire is the driving successional force in the boreal forest and has remained so despite fire suppression activities and extensive harvesting. Insects and diseases also cause extensive damage. In order to ensure the sustainability of forests, it is necessary for the forest manager to know the condition of the health of these forests. The CFS established in 1984 the Acid Rain National early Warning System in order to monitor the health of the forests. National results show that mortality is generally in the normal range of 1-3% and is caused by known stresses; insects, diseases and abiotic damage. No signs of pollution damage have been yet been detected in boreal forests by the system. An early warning system to detect and monitor conditions remains an essential part of our commitment to the sustainability of Canada's forests.