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Category: Forest Resilience

When wells run dry our oaks decline, too

How groundwater access impacts the resilience of oaks to drought

Fresh water is essential to all living creatures and humans have become particularly well-versed in using it for both business and pleasure. We use it grow our food, to run our industries and even to flush our toilets in many countries. Much of the fresh water used in the world comes from the groundwater, and the extraction of groundwater is likely to increase more in the future, partly due to droughts. However, a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Freiburg and published in Scientific Reports shows that extracting the groundwater to water our gardens can cause serious problems to forests growing on the areas from where the water is taken.

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Urban Forests in the light of sustainability transition – kick-off at Urban Forestry Days 2021

Cities need to learn from nature in order to organise themselves. (Vicente Guallart, IAAC) The first day of the Urban Forestry Days 2021 kicked-off on…

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Marteloscopes and Carbon – a missing piece of the puzzle?

Witten by Huntley Brownell and Andrew Stratton

Many readers of this blog are likely familiar with marteloscopes (if not, click here to read more). We think our story demonstrates the remarkable educational potential of this tool, and we would like to share it with you.

Our story begins deep in the Black Forest, outside of Freiburg in Germany. It was long, long ago, before corona times: the autumn of 2018. We were part of a group of MSc students studying Forest and Nature Management on a study tour from the University of Copenhagen, and we were brought to visit the Rosskopf marteloscope.

By now we all understand the limitations of virtual meetings; back then the forty of us, carefree and not at all socially distanced, took for granted the vibrant educational environment of in-person learning. With tablets in hand, groups of students and professors explored the marteloscope, observing, discussing, debating – sometimes passionately – the harvesting trade-offs we were considering in the exercise. Questions arose: how will our decisions affect stand biodiversity? How will the stand develop in the future if we harvest certain trees now? Are some microhabitats more important than others? What is biodiversity anyway? How much is that tree worth?

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“Unser Wald stirbt vor unseren Augen” – spannender Doku-Tipp

Stürme, Trockenheit, Borkenkäfer – unsere deutschen Wälder standen in den vergangenen Jahren vor großen Herausforderungen.

Wussten Sie, dass viele Förster*innen in den letzten Jahren nicht nur mit großen Waldschäden zu kämpfen hatten, sondern auch unter Druck geraten sind, wenn sie wieder aufforsten müssen? Können Sie sich vorstellen, wie unser Wald in 100 Jahren aussehen wird? Was genau muss getan werden, um die Resilienz der Wälder zu erhöhen?

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Join us for a virtual excursion during the Urban Forestry Days

Cannot wait for the Urban Forestry Days (March 23-24, 2021) to be out in the forest? Our 1-minute conference trailer invites you on a journey through urban forests and green spaces from Beijing to Bonn.

The two-day collaborative event of integrated activities on Urban Forestry, hosted by the European Forest Institute (EFI), the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) and the Horizon 2020 CLEARING HOUSE project, brings together advanced practitioners, researchers, sector-leading policymakers, and everyone eager to learn about urban forestry’s latest developments in and beyond Europe. The online conference will be split into two main themes. While Day 1 addresses integrated forest management, Day 2 is themed on urban forests and health infrastructure. Further, there will be a specific focus on Sino-European collaboration. The conference will thus be run in English with Mandarin translations. Join us for lively and interactive talks and register here to secure a virtual seat.

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“Dialogue with interest groups in the forest needs to be intensified” – an interview with Thomas Haußmann

Thomas Hausmann, who has a background in forestry and is working with the the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture since many years, was one of the initiators of the European Network Integrate, which is connecting people from forest management, and nature conservation, science and
policy-making to overcome political polarization and limited dialogue between sectoral silos. With almost 20 member countries and more than 100 demonstration sites, the network promotes the integration of nature conservation into sustainable forest management. We have spoken with Thomas about the history of the network, challenges faced and future perspectives.

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Best practice for forest disturbance management in Europe

From storm events to megafires, from drought to bark beetle damage – with intensified forest disturbance regimes during the last decades we have learned that if we want to mitigate forest risks and prevent negative impacts, we cannot only focus on emergency response and recovery. Thus, preventing disturbances and making forests more resilient has significantly gained in importance along with the insight that we need to learn how to live with intensified disturbances. In the past three years, several networking activities and events as well as fast track sharing of experiences and knowledge during forest related risks crisis have been organized in the framework of the project SUstaining and Enhancing REsilience of European Forests (SURE). These activities were aiming at promoting and further developing a European Forest Risk Facility, an evolving knowledge hub consisting of several organisations and experts from all over Europe, coming from the fields of academia, forest practice and risk management, policy and society. After three years (2017-2020) of fruitful activities within SURE, the project reached an end, and we use this opportunity to look back, reflect upon and summarize our work.

Those who are interested in an overview of all the events and activities that took place within the project are invited to check out the record of activities on our website.

Moreover, the latest outputs that were already presented during our final conference in August 2020 are now available online. First, the tool compendium was compiled as an open platform documenting all the learned lessons across Europe collected during the SURE project. Second, we created a map of forest risk management actors, describing the existing responsibilities and disturbance risk governance structures in several European countries. 

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A city for forests: new forest-related organisation moved to Bonn

Bonn has been the European Forest City 2020, and since the beginning of 2021 the City is now hosting another forest-related organisation, the international secretariat of FOREST EUROPE.

FOREST EUROPE Logo
FOREST EUROPE Logo

FOREST EUROPE, founded on 18 December 1990, is a high-level political process that involves ministers responsible for forests from 46 countries and the European Union (including observers from 14 additional countries and 45 organisations). The main objectives are to develop common strategies to strengthen sustainable forest management in the Pan-European domain and find proper responses to current forest policy challenges. It builds upon FOREST EUROPE’s definition of sustainable forest management and employs criteria and indicators as data basis of the Pan-European forest report (State of Europe’s Forests). As part of the process, members make decisions of highest political relevance regarding forests, forest management and socio-political topics aiming at safeguarding ecological, social and economic benefits of European forests.

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Mapping forest disturbance risk management actors

From storm events to megafires, from drought to bark beetle damage – with intensified forest disturbance regimes during the last decades we have learned that if we want to mitigate forest risks and prevent negative impacts, we cannot only focus on emergency response and recovery. Thus, preventing disturbances and making forests more resilient has significantly gained in importance along with the insight that we need to learn how to live with intensified disturbances. In the past three years, several networking activities and events as well as fast track sharing of experiences and knowledge during forest related risks crisis have been organized in the framework of the project SUstaining and Enhancing REsilience of European Forests (SURE). These activities were aiming at promoting and further developing a European Forest Risk Facility, an evolving knowledge hub consisting of several organisations and experts from all over Europe, coming from the fields of academia, forest practice and risk management, policy and society. After three years (2017-2020) of fruitful activities within SURE, the project reached an end, and we use this opportunity to look back, reflect upon and summarize our work.

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Life after recovery: how Scots pine trees compensate for drought

Did you know that researchers have linked extreme drought events to losses in forest productivity and widespread tree mortality on every forested continent on earth? As a result of climate change, in the coming decades we expect these drought events to increase in frequency, duration and intensity in many parts of the world, posing an emerging set of challenges at a scale that many contemporary forests have so far not had to deal with. This in turn means that we need to understand how forests respond to, and recover from, such events across a range of both temporal and spatial scales to ensure our forests are resilient to the challenges of a future climate. This understanding must cover everything from how between-tree variability buffers against stand-level change, which tree and stand attributes and management practices confer resilience, how different species growing in different locations respond to similar types of drought and what the long-term implications of these events mean for biodiversity, forest carbon, stand structure and forest growth, amongst many others. In our recent paper “Life after recovery: Increased resolution of forest resilience assessment sheds new light on post‐drought compensatory growth and recovery dynamics” published in the Journal of Ecology (Ovenden et al. 2021), we look at the recovery of trees after drought from a new perspective.

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