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Resilience Blog Posts

“Our results contribute to a better understanding of many forest disturbance processes”

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 continues with Luiza Tymińska-Czabańska and Ewa Grabska from University of Krakow.

What is University of Krakow (UAK) contributing to I-Maestro?

Luiza&Ewa: Our team at UAK includes researchers with various expertise and skills such as forestry, remote sensing, data science, statistics, and geography. With scientists covering such a complex background, we are able to develop approaches to analyze issues such as modeling of different forest properties, monitoring of disturbances, classification of tree species and their age, site index prediction, or biomass estimation and its changes over time. Furthermore, we collected a comprehensive database on forest characteristics and data about forest disturbances for the whole area of Poland, and additionally, environmental variables – climatic, topographic, geological, and soils. Access to such an exhaustive database enables modeling the impact of various factors on forest processes in temperate zones.

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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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Es geht nur gemeinsam: Neue Perspektiven für Waldbrandmanagement in Baden-Württemberg

Anlässlich des Starts des WKR-Projekts (Waldbrand-Klima-Resilienz) und der Gründung einer “Modellregion Waldbrandmanagement“ in Baden-Württemberg hat die Forstliche Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg (FVA) Medien- und Pressevertreter*innen am 25. September 2020 nach Bruchsal in die Landesfeuerwehrschule und anschließend in den Hardtwald eingeladen, um neue Wege im Waldbrandmanagement vorzustellen. Gemeinsam werden Handlungsempfehlungen für Waldbrandprävention und -Management entwickelt, denn die wachsende Gefahr für Wald und Vegetationsbrände stellen Waldbesitzer*innen, Forstverwaltungen und Feuerwehren vor massive Herausforderungen. In dem Bewusstsein der größer werdenden Probleme ist im Rahmen des WKR-Projekts in Baden-Württemberg eine Modellregion festgelegt worden, in der neue Ansätze des Waldbrandmanagements und Möglichkeiten der Kooperation aller betroffenen Akteure geschaffen werden.

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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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Towards improved disturbance risk management in European forests: serving the needs and building on positive experiences of different countries

Day 2 of the SURE conference

Where are shortcomings in effective disturbance risk management in different European Countries? How can we move from often short-term decisions to long-term oriented disturbance mitigation and resource use in policy-making and practice to create a more resilient forest sector? How can the various actors involved in implementing measures for prevention and preparedness be better supported in view of future disturbance events? How do both policy makers and practitioners assess the importance of cross-sectoral and cross-country knowledge exchange and learning?

We discussed these questions with more than 40 policy makers and some practitioners from 17 countries on the 27th of August as part of the second day of the virtual conference of the SURE project. A Policy Brief distributed beforehand, provided a synthesis on natural disturbance risk management based on science, practice and policy perspectives. The key messages from the first day of the conference were also an inspiration for the discussion: Alex Giurca presented a graphic reporting capturing the issues discussed on day 1. Christoph Hartebrodt, based on his knowledge on the European Forest Risk Facility initiative, provided another perspective on the topics covered. After presenting the activities and research done during three years of SURE, an interactive session with policy perspectives on risk management paradigms gathered views from Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic. 

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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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Europe’s primary forests: What to protect? What to restore?

First international assessment of the protection state of mostly ‘untouched’ forests in Europe

Halle/Berlin. An expansion of the protected areas by only about 1% would sufficiently protect most remaining primary forests in Europe. This is one of the main results of the study on Protection gaps and restoration opportunities for primary forests in Europe conducted by an international team led by researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). The study, published in the paper Diversity and Distribution, is the first assessment of the conservation status of Europe’s primary forests. It identifies protection gaps and areas with restoration needs to reach conservation targets. In addition, it provides valuable information how to implement the new EU Biodiversity Strategy.

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Enhancing resilience of forests to disturbances – why networks are essential. Day 1 of the SURE conference.

“Collaboration is key to enhance forest resilience.” This was the opening message given by Marcus Lindner (project coordinator of SURE) when introducing the SURE conference and the European Forest Risk Facility on the 26th of August. During this first day, more than 70 participants joined the conference, from 25 different countries, representing science, practice and policy. Seven presenters from the European Forest Risk Facility network reflected upon the significance of collaboration highlighting the importance of immediate response, exchange of experts, prevention, networking, and media interaction to raise public awareness. The whole conference was supported by the graphic reporting of Alex Giurca who combined the skills of a note taker and artist to provide a visual and captivating representation of the conference. Such tools are a creative and immediate support to decision making providing an illustration and key messages of complex presentations and discussions.

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