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Category: research

Innovating with forests’ resources and integrated mindsets

Through human history, forests have provided a great variety of natural resources such as woods, nuts, and fruits. While we have gotten accustomed to these conventional resources, the current environmental crisis has pushed interdisciplinary research to innovate with bio-based materials as an effort to contribute to a bio-based economy.

For the past decade, a great variety of bio-based materials have been developed to replace synthetic packaging, structural materials, leather, and other fossil fuel dependent materials. Many of these are made of agricultural waste such as corn starch, leaves from different plants, coffee waste, and a large etcetera. Moreover, other bio-based materials are developed by harnessing living systems such as mycelium (the root of fungi), algae, and bacteria. This relatively new practical approach (in material design) is called Biodesign.

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Waldschäden 2.0 -und was nun?

Marcus Lindner’s Beitrag zur Ringvorlesung “Aspekte der Erderwärmung”

Auch wenn derzeit viel stillsteht: Die Universität Bonn zusammen mit Students for Future Bonn hat in diesem Semester ihre Ringvorlesung “Aspekte der Erderwärmung” fortgesetzt und bietet viele interessante Vorträge von Experten*innen aus ganz unterschiedlichen Disziplinen an (Zum kompletten Programm geht es hier ). Die Ringvorlesung findet online statt und gibt Studierenden und allen interessierten Zuhörenden die Möglichkeit, ihre Fragen live und direkt an die Vortragenden zu richten.

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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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“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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From the past winds to future storms – updating the Database of Forest Disturbances in Europe

What if we had a database covering all forest disturbances in Europe over the past 170 years? Would we be able to identify patterns of old disturbance regimes, analyse how they have changed over the years with forest management and climate change, and make predictions on how the future disturbances will look like? Could we be better prepared for what is to come?

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Bridging the gap between the world(s) of research, practitioners and policy-makers

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. The series starts with Matteo Cerioni from University of Ljubljana.

What is the University of Ljubljana (LU) contributing to I-Maestro?
The main contribution of LU is improving information on disturbances and the knowledge on recovery processes following them. More specifically, we are contributing to the update of a European database on forest disturbances and carrying out empirical studies on regeneration dynamics after large disturbances. This involves both collecting new field data (e.g. Slovenian forests subjected to ice storm and following bark beetle; Bulgarian beech forest reserve subjected to wildfire) and gathering and analyzing existing data from other European research groups interested in collaborating. These empirical studies will also serve the models, testing their ability to reproduce recovery processes. Furthermore, we are involved in developing metrics to assess the forest structural complexity resulting from different model simulations. It is considered a key features of forest resilience and includes tree spatial arrangement, size diversity and biodiversity. Finally, we will be involved in the dissemination of results among interested stakeholders.

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One forest does not fit all: Biodiversity conservation in integrated and segregated forest areas

Whether it be a huge European bison or an obscure saproxylic beetle, all forest species have specific and unique requirements for conservation. While some may thrive in wood production forests with integrated conservation strategies, others may require segregated forests with little or no intervention. It is clear that the choice between an integrated or segregated conservation strategy is not black-and-white and an agreement must be made that places importance on both.  But the question is where and how should segregation be integrated into forest management? And what roles do forest managers and owners have in this task? 

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Which tree species is “climate fit”? The Tree App helps to decide

The new Tree App helps in all locations in Switzerland’s forests to identify the tree species that will also grow in a warmer and drier climate.

Written by Keith Anderson

Which tree species is suitable for a forest location in the future when the climate changes? This question is asked repeatedly by many forest managers and owners, for example when tending young stands, or when thinning mixed stands or planting trees. The question also arises more frequently during specific events that have a lasting impact on the forest, such as storms or pest infestations. Here, the Tree App can help, because it indicates the advisable tree species on the mobile phone and also directly on the pc.  

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