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Resilience Blog Posts

Forest landscapes as functional networks: Novel approaches to manage for resilience

Article by Marco Mina

Some time ago we discussed how viewing and analyzing forest landscapes as functional complex networks could be a promising approach to increase ecological resilience to global uncertainty. Now, two new studies show how this could be applied in differently structured landscapes.

Our blue marble planet is one single interconnected organism. From plants to pollinators, preys to predators, climate to primary production, Earth’s natural ecosystems have evolved for million years to build complex and balanced interactions. Forest landscapes are also complex ecological networks, which can be depicted in many ways depending on the scale of observation. For example, if we take a look at a satellite image of a rural area (e.g., an administrative region in Germany or in southern Canada), we will immediately recognize patches of forests fragmented by agricultural crops, roads, powerlines or human settlements. In other areas, forest might cover a larger proportion of the land, resulting in a more continuous matrix. In both cases, a series of interconnected relation exists among tree species, stands, and forest patches allowing the maintenance of vital functions of such ecological system.

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Ein anderer Blick auf das „Waldbrand Klima Resilienz“-Projekt

Video und Text: Rosa Castañeda

Um die Ziele des Projekts „Waldbrand Klima Resilienz“ in einem Video wiederzugeben, war es wichtig für mich die WKR Projektaktivitäten hautnah zu erleben. Darum nahm ich an der Pressekonferenz in Bruchsal und an einem Feuerwehrtraining in Munster teil und habe mir das Ziel gesetzt, das Thema „Waldbrand“, das eine große Medienpräsenz hat, mit einer anderen Perspektive zu behandeln. Ein umfassendes Waldbrandmanagement bedeutet eben nicht nur Brände zu bekämpfen, sondern auch Prävention und Waldumbau als wichtige Elemente miteinzubeziehen.

Das Video bringt den Zuschauern das Projekt „Waldbrand Klima Resilienz“ nahe. Es zeigt das WKR-Team und die im Projekt beteiligten vielfältigen Akteure, wie Forst, Feuerwehr, Politik und Waldeigentümer, die ihre Erfahrungen miteinander teilen und für ein ganzheitliches Waldbrandmanagement zusammenarbeiten.

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“Naturschutz geht nicht ohne den Verzicht durch den Menschen” – Interview mit Förster Andreas Pommer

Andreas Pommer ist Leiter des Forstrevier Eibenstock im Staatsbetrieb Sachsenforst. Das Revier Eibenstock ist ein Mittelgebirgsrevier im Erzgebirge mit einem Fichtenanteil im Oberstand von über 90%, mit einer leidvollen Geschichte, die durch die Rauchschäden und durch das Rotwildstaatsjagdgebiet der 1970er–1980er Jahre und einem hohen Schadholzanteil in der Vergangenheit geprägt wurde. In “seinem” Wald hat es sich Andreas Pommer seit etwa 15 Jahren zum Ziel gemacht, Waldwirtschaft und Naturschutz miteinander zu vereinbaren – mit naturgemäßem Waldbau, Waldumbau hin zu strukturreichen, gemischten Wäldern. Eine wichtige Rolle spielen auch Totholz, Biotopbäume, Hochstubben, Moorrevitalisierungen, Bachtalrenaturierungen, Anlage von Kleingewässern, Waldinnen- und -außenrandgestaltung sowie Nisthilfen. Teilweise nutzt Pommer auch innovative Methoden wie Marteloskope, um für Naturschutz zu sensibilisieren. Deswegen hat die Zeitschrift “Forstpraxis” ihn auch für 2020 für den Titel “Förster des Jahres” vorgeschlagen. Wir haben mit Andreas Pommer ein persönliches Gespräch über Herausforderungen für die Forstwirtschaft in Zeiten des Klimawandels und wachsender Erwartungen an den Wald geführt – und über potentielle “integrative” Lösungsansätze, wie wir möglichst viele Waldfunktionen integrieren und unseren Wald langfristig und gesund erhalten können.

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Dare to Explore! Gaining work experiences, a key to finding your career path – Apply now

Preliminary results from the “Educating towards forest-related employment” survey (still open until 10th of December!) show that both students and recent graduates view Internships/Traineeships as one of the most valuable practical experience during their studies. Further they regard these work experiences as useful in defining their career decisions. 

The Joint EFI-IFSA-IUFRO project on global student networking and green jobs in the forest sector (Green Jobs Project), conducting this survey, is also offering some unique traineeship opportunities: 

The Dare to Explore! TraineeshipProgram offers four, paid traineeship positions, in prestigious institutions each year. The traineeships aim to enrich students and recent graduates’ formal education and gain insight into the science-policy-interface at the international level, including research, communication, and policy-relevant activities. 

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“Changing our way of forest management is the key to making forests more resilient”

How can we increase the resilience of our forest to be better prepared for future natural disturbances and climate change, while maintaining a high level of wood production, carbon storage, and habitat quality for biodiversity? The project Innovative forest management strategies for a resilient bioeconomy under climate change and disturbances (I-MAESTRO) aims at improving the scientific basis for developing adequate forest management strategies. In an interview series, we are introducing the different I-MAESTRO partners and their roles in the project – and we are sharing very personal perspectives from different researchers involved. Finally, we are interviewing Laura Nikinmaa, PhD student and research fellow at European Forest Institute (EFI).

What is EFI contributing to I-Maestro?
EFI has several tasks in I-Maestro out of which updating the European forest disturbance database up to 2020 is of major importance. Many of the forest disturbance models predicting the future require adequate knowledge of the previous disturbances so the database can substantially contribute also to our understanding of the future forest disturbances. Another task of EFI is to review the literature on how forest management can affect the disturbance impact. In that task, the aim is to understand what type of forest management does have a mitigating effect on forest disturbances, incorporate this understanding into the forest management simulation models, and to analyse how do the recommended forest management practices reflect the available science.

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“Leben in der Lage” oder Feuereinsatz zur Vegetationsbrandbekämpfung

Rückblick: Das Projekt Waldbrand-Klima-Resilienz (WKR) und Waldbrandteam e.V. leiten gemeinsames Feuercamp in Munster 35 motivierte Teilnehmende aus verschiedenen Bereichen des Forstsektors (u.a. Privatwaldbesitz und Landes-Forstverwaltung),…

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Locally adapted integrated forest management concepts – a ‘Tour d’Europe’

Faced with biodiversity loss, climate impacts, and changes in societal demands, forest owners and managers across Europe have started to use integrated forest management to address the trade-offs between multiple uses of forest ecosystems. Integrated forest management is a highly dynamic, multi-functional management approach with as many different strategies for implementation as there are different forest ecosystems in Europe. This flexibility was showcased in the final conference of the oForest project: “How to balance forestry and biodiversity conservation – a view across Europe” organized by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research (WSL) as well as European Forest Institute (EFI) and supported by the Swiss Federal Institute for the Environment (BAFU), the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Canton of Basel. The conference, held on November 9th-11th, 2020 as an online webinar, was named after the title of the upcoming oForest book publication, which compiles expertise of integrated forest management from over 150 authors. 

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Spontaneous forest regrowth in Southwest Europe: Friend or Foe?

New publication on spontaneous forest regrowth in abandoned rural and peri-urban areas sheds light on the complex management issues that arise when land-use transforms.

Think about a natural space that is familiar to you. Open areas around your city, agricultural land around your village, or pastureland in the mountains where you grew up. Think about how they looked in the 1950s or 1960s, or even search for pictures if you don’t know or don’t remember. Do they look the same? If you’re from Southwest Europe, we suspect they don’t. The pastures you remember are slowly getting encroached upon by shrubs and trees. The farmlands from your village are no longer being used, and are now woodlands. Depending on the case, maybe even a pretty dense one.

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Investigating potential future climate, disturbance and forest management effects

How can we increase the resilience of our forest to be better prepared for future natural disturbances and climate change, while maintaining a high level of wood production, carbon storage, and habitat quality for biodiversity? The project Innovative forest management strategies for a resilient bioeconomy under climate change and disturbances (I-MAESTRO) aims at improving the scientific basis for developing adequate forest management strategies. In an interview series, we are introducing the different I-MAESTRO partners and their roles in the project – and we are sharing very personal perspectives from different researchers involved. We are now introducing Mats Mahnken, PhD researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

What is PIK contributing to I-Maestro?

PIK is involved in I-Maestro with tasks regarding forest modelling and simulation of forest dynamics taking into account environmental change effects and forest management. It is using the forest model 4C (‘FORESEE’ – Forest Ecosystems in a Changing Environment) at different spatial scales and will also be involved in work dealing with data for model comparisons and data for calibration. Thus, we are applying the expertise of the working group on Forest and Ecosystem Resilience at PIK from prior projects that focused on modelling shifts in temperature and precipitation and possible adaptive forest management on European forests as well as projects on model comparison and data harmonization.

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“We develop long-term management strategies to maximise ecosystem services against forest disturbances”

How can we increase the resilience of our forest to be better prepared for future natural disturbances and climate change, while maintaining a high level of wood production, carbon storage, and habitat quality for biodiversity? The project Innovative forest management strategies for a resilient bioeconomy under climate change and disturbances (I-MAESTRO) aims at improving the scientific basis for developing adequate forest management strategies. In an interview series, we are introducing the different I-MAESTRO partners and their roles in the project – and we are sharing very personal perspectives from different researchers involved. Our third interviewee is Raphaël Aussenac, Postdoc researcher at the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE).

What is INRAE contributing to I-Maestro?

First of all, INRAE coordinates the project. As part of this responsibility, INRAE ensures that teams working on practical and empirical aspects and those modelling forest dynamics work tuned. We seek to better understand the relationship between the complexity of stand structure and the provision of ecosystem services while integrating the effects of natural disturbances and climate change. In particular, we participate in the modelling of forest dynamics and in the analysis of the simulations. By addressing our research question with several European partners with different approaches we hope to offer more comprehensive answers.

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