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Post-drought assessment data of tree and forest canopy health and growth response to the 2018/2019 extreme Central European drought, Rhӧn Biosphere Reserve, Germany

An intense drought in summer 2019, following the European drought of 2018, severely impacted European beech (Fagus sylvatica) forests in Central Europe resulting in widespread tree mortality, crown defoliation and discolouration. The datasets in this collection were collected in the summers of 2020 and 2021 to assess the individual tree and forest stand canopy and radial growth response to these intense drought episodes within core protected areas of the UNESCO Rhӧn Biosphere Reserve with support from the Natural Environment Research Council Urgency scheme (Grant NE/V00929X/1).
Through the combination of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) images and field measurements of individual tree canopy and radial growth response to extreme drought, this project sought to collect data that enables the prediction of tree and forest stand vulnerability to drought-induced mortality from the individual to landscape scale, developments that are critical to improve remote sensing of forest health, to quantify drivers of variation in drought-induced forest mortality, and to improve forecasts of drought impacts in bioclimatic growth models.