#RestorationStory by Maaike de Graaf A few weeks ago, I visited my son who is studying in Scotland. He took me for a walk in…Leave a Comment
Author: Gesche Schifferdecker
Oaks can live up to a thousand years and grow to trees of impressive magnitude. They are of great importance, economically and ecologically. Oak wood is hard and resistant and provides a valuable resource for the market. And with over a thousand species of beetles, butterflies, birds and bats, fungi and more living on oaks, these trees are a real biodiversity hotspot.
Since the mid-1980s, however, the condition of oaks in Europe has deteriorated dramatically. This is due to an interaction of climatic extremes, such as drought or late frost, herbivorous insects and mildew. Among these stress factors, insect damage by early defoliators is of particular importance. Oaks generally show a strong ability for regeneration and can regrow their foliation even after complete defoliation. However, if severe defoliation in spring occurs repeatedly or in combination with a second stressor, the oaks’ energy reserves cannot be restored and the tree is lost.
The critical question is: how can we make oaks more resilient? And are there ecological means to combat oak decline? In Germany, committed people from forestry practice and science have joined forces to find solutions. The project “Oak Resilience” investigates the resilience of the native pedunculate oak and sessile oak and looks into predatory parasites –called parasitoids– of the most important early defoliators in oaks, the winter moth Operophtera brumata, the mottled umber moth Erannis defoliaria and the oak leafroller moth Tortrix viridana. Parasitoid insects are natural antagonists of defoliating insects and are an important regulatory force in the ecosystem. The project will develop recommendations for silvicultural measures to support these natural regulating forces in order to strengthen the oak’s vitality and forest resilience in general. The project is led by Wald und Holz NRW and funded by the FNR (Agency for Renewable Resources; FKZ 22017517). Watch this video to get an introduction to the project – and check our Resilience blog for upcoming project results in 2023.Leave a Comment
New FORWARDS project will provide crucial information on European forests’ vulnerability to climate change
Climate change has already had a deleterious impact on forests ecosystems and silviculture in various parts of the world. But healthy trees translate to healthy citizens: everyone benefits from forests’ clean air, safe food and water, and recreational space.
With a total budget of €14m funded by the European Commission’s HorizonEurope (plus additional funding by Switzerland and the UK) and more than 19 partners (incl. European Forest Institute) involved, the FORWARDS project (ForestWard Observatory to Secure Resilience of European Forests) will provide timely and detailed information on European forests’ vulnerability to climate change. The project will also deliver science-based knowledge to guide management using the principles of climate-smart forestry, ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity conservation. With its activities, FORWARDS aims at supporting European forests and society to transform, adapt, and mitigate climate-induced changes.Leave a Comment
Forest restoration is not all roses – it comes with a range of challenges, too. Therefore, implementing and upscaling restoration measures is essential for their successful restoration. In our upcoming webinar “European forest restoration: urgently needed but where and how?” organized by the SUPERB project and IUFRO‘s Task Force ‘Transforming Forest Landscapes for Future Climates and Human Well-Being’ we will discuss how the habitat status of Europe’s forests is currently assessed, and what role data provided by National Forest Inventories can play to inform about forest restoration in Europe. We will also take a deep plunge into our SUPERB demo areas and discover the real-life challenges they are facing to implement restoration on the ground.
Join us on 8th February 4-6pm CET and register here.Leave a Comment
by Beatrice Bellavia
Can you evoke the typical scent of a forest? Close your eyes and imagine walking down a path of needles, that is all it takes. But did you know that trees are not only oxygen generators – but produce large amounts of volatile organic compounds? It is basically as if they were breathing, and this is precisely where the unmistakable forest smell comes from.
Recently, I have experienced how trees breath – but guess what: not in the forest, but in a museum. It happened when I approached the immersive installation „ATMOSPHERIC FOREST“. In this installation, thanks to the augmented reality technology, I was able to navigate through the „breathing“ trees of the Swiss forest of Pfynwald. I watched the forest from the bottom up, followed the path through the tree trunk until it brought the eye far up above the trees – yes, like a bird.Leave a Comment
Dürre, Borkenkäfer, und immer wieder Waldbrände – der Freiburger Forstwissenschaftler Jürgen Bauhus sagt, dem Wald gehe es schlechter als in den 1980er Jahren. Im Politikpodcast…Leave a Comment
by Luiza Tyminska and Jean-Matthieu Monnet
If you want to investigate the influence of management on forest resilience after disturbances, you can of course put your walking shoes on and do field measurements. However, how can you evaluate forest areas of several hundreds of square kilometers? In forest science, we consider Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) a strong solution for mapping forest characteristics – including forests’ internal structure – at high resolution over wide areas. ALS is a remote sensing technology based on the emission of laser pulses. The laser light can penetrate the tree canopy and reflect on objects located inside the forest, or even by the ground. The Earth’s surface is then modelled as point clouds in three dimensions with geometric information on the height of the vegetation, but also on its internal structure. In the project Innovative forest management strategies for a resilient bioeconomy under climate change and disturbances (I-MAESTRO), we used ALS for two purposes: describing the forests to get an initial state for simulations, and analysing forest dynamics with repeated measurements.Leave a Comment
by Joshua Brow, University of Vermont
European forests are in trouble. “Not because they’re being lost,” says University of Vermont scientist William Keeton. “Europe, actually, is greener and more heavily forested now than it has been in centuries.” But many of the continent’s forests are suffering major insect outbreaks, forest disease problems, increasing frequencies of wind-storms, and more-intense fires.
To help give forest managers and policymakers new options, Keeton and a large team of European scientists completed an extensive, multi-year study of forests in thirteen countries across the continent.
Their results show that most current forest management in Europe doesn’t imitate the patterns of nature—specifically, the complex patterns created by natural disturbances that leave behind a mosaic of tree types, ages, and sizes; standing and downed dead wood; and highly variable, resilient landscapes.
Von Holzbau und Windkraft im Wald zum Lebensraum für zahlreiche Pflanzen und Tiere, vom Erholungsort für uns Menschen zum CO2-Speicher: Wir sind heute mehr denn je auf die vielfältigen Leistungen unserer regionalen Wälder angewiesen. In Zeiten von Klimawandel und intensiven Störungen wie Sturm, Dürre und Borkenkäfernmüssen wir uns aber auch verstärkt die Frage stellen, wie wir diese Leistungen in Zukunft sichern können. Eine gemeinsame Antwort auf diese Herausforderungen hat die Landesregierung NRW im Dezember 2019 mit Verbänden aus Forst- und Holzwirtschaft, Naturschutz und Berufsvertretung formuliert, in dem sie den Waldpakt „Klimaschutz für den Wald – unser Wald für den Klimaschutz“ unterzeichnet hat.
Nur gesunde und vielfältige Wälder können ihre Potenziale für den Klimaschutz, die nachhaltige Rohstofferzeugung und die biologische Vielfalt voll ausschöpfen – aber was sind die politischen Ziele rund um den Waldpakt, und wie stehen Vertreterinnen und Vertreter der im Land und/oder Bund regierenden Parteien im Jahr 2022 dazu?
Aus Anlass der anstehenden Landtagswahl in NRW, veranstalten die am Waldpakt beteiligten Verbände, auf Initiative des Forstvereins NRW am 5. April von 18-19:30 Uhr eine Diskussionsrunde mit politischen Entscheidungsträgerinnen über die verschiedenen Handlungsfelder des Waldpaktes. Damit sollen alle am Wald Interessierten Gelegenheit bekommen, sich über die zukünftigen politischen Ziele rund um den Wald in NRW zu informieren. Die Anmeldung erfolgt über Eventbrite: Die Zukunft des Waldes in NRW – Diskussion mit Politikvertreter*innen Tickets, Di, 05.04.2022 um 18:00 Uhr | EventbriteLeave a Comment
by Christopher Reyer (PIK)
How can forests and their products and services best contribute to climate change mitigation? This is probably the most controversial question one can currently ask when discussing the role of forests to combat climate change – and even scientists tend to disagree here. Some say we should manage our forest and use wood for construction to create a long-term carbon sink. Or produce even more wood to replace plastics and fossil-based materials, which is called circular bioeconomy. Others suggest just the opposite: we should not manage our forests – or if we do, we should not concentrate on wood production but mainly focus on our forests’ potential for biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration.
All approaches have benefits and trade-offs, considering that our natural resources, including our forests, are limited. That being sad, I would like to focus in this article on the potential of using wood and wood-based products for construction to mitigate climate change, based on a paper on Buildings as a global carbon sink that we – a multidisciplinary group of researchers from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and from Yale University – have published 2020 in Nature Sustainability. When looking at global developments, including discussions at the COP in Glasgow, results from the paper are still very valid – and further scientific and practical exploration is needed, since the world’s population is increasing, and climate change mitigation efforts will be challenged by people’s need for shelter.Leave a Comment