Forest ecosystem condition

Major pressures affect the forest and their ecosystems. The European member states record the following forest health indicators in a harmonised way: tree crown condition, soil condition and foliar nutrient content.

Foliar nutrient condition


Tree crown condition, %

Defoliation is defined as needle/leaf loss in the assessable crown as compared to a reference tree. Defoliation is observed regardless of the cause of foliage loss.

Trees are moderately to severely defoliated when defoliation exceeds 25%.


Main disturbances on forest ecosystems

The main disturbances on forests comprise forest fires, diseases, insects and storms.

Forest area affected by fires, k ha

In 2017, 162 forest fires were reported in Slovakia destroying 297.66 ha of forest with the total damage estimated at € 410 330.


Forest area affected by pathogens, k ha

Damages on forests from diseases increased, yet affect less than 600 ha per year.


Forest area affected by insects, k ha

Forests in Slovakia are exposed to unprecedented frequency and intensity of biotic agents (especially bark-insects) in the whole documented history of forests in Slovakia (volume of 3.9 million m3 of timber was damaged by biotic damaging agents only in 2017). As a consequence of these facts, there is large extent of dead and damaged forests, but also of unplanned, often large-scale and by society negatively perceived clear-cutting carried out only in the interest of processing of damaged timber.


Forest area affected by severe weather, k ha


Forest fragmentation

Forest fragmentation is breaking large, contiguous forested areas into smaller forest patches, separated by roads, agriculture, utility corridors or other anthropological developments.

Fragmentation is one of many factors that threaten forest health and vitality. Large and intact forest ecosystems are essential to maintaining a good forest condition and biodiversity. Increased fragmentation means that the forest area in the largest patch sizes will decrease and that the small size classes will increase.

Share of different forest patch sizes in 2018, % of total forest cover