In this article, I talk about the “mode of competition”, in other words whether trees of different species compete more of aboveground or belowground resources when growing in mixed stands. Additionally, I highlight the advantage of mixed forests in the context of climate change.
If you have read some of my articles like What factors determine whether tree species compete or complement each other?, you know how much I like mixed forests. Forests rich in tree species not only are known for providing higher levels of ecosystem services but also be prompter to cope with unexpected disturbances and climatic changes. However, the mechanisms of competitions in multi-species forests are all but clear. Scientists are still studying which combinations of tree species grow better in a particular environment or what factor promote or reduce a positive growth complementarity in secondary forests and/or plantations. In one of my latest posts on the blog Forest Monitor I have tried to explain in simple terms the concept of how complementarity for a give species can be positive or negative when growing in association with other species depending on resource availability.
The European Forest Institute is seeking two Junior Researchers to join its Resilience Programme, to conduct a global research and capacity-building project related to the future of employment and green jobs in the forest sector, in close collaboration with the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).
EFI’s Resilience Programme focuses on the resilience of forests and livelihoods connected to them. We conduct research, policy support and networking on four strategic themes:
The impact of global change and related risks on forest socio-ecological systems
Policies and forest management practices to enhance forest biodiversity
The rural/urban forest: policies and management practices to enhance the resilience of rural/urban areas – from green infrastructure to wood construction
The details of the job responsibilities and qualifications can be found here. Interested candidates are requested to send a CV (in English) including copies of academic degree certificates/diplomas with a motivation letter by Monday 15th October 2018, using our online application form. For more information about the positions, please contact Andrew Male, Head of HR & Administration: andrew.male(at)efi.int
A group of researchers from all over Europe worked together to release a unique database to the scientific community. Assembling data collected under the auspices of an EU Cost Action, the database BeechCOSTe52 gathers over 860,000 measurements of phenotypic traits. These data, from more than 500,000 beech trees growing in plantations located in 38 European countries, cover the entire range of beech’s distribution. Over 15 years of work have gone into producing the database; a vital resource for analyzing and understanding the beech’s adaptive capacity to climate change and the potential effects of climate on its distribution range.
Planting trees is a longstanding traditional urban planning approach for improving liveability in cities. Dating back from the earliest urban societies such as the Roman Empire, urban planners have applied trees for bringing shade, mitigating temperature, rainfall and wind, and providing food and fodder for animals. Providing urban trees, parks and urban forests is probably one of the earliest applications of what is now termed “nature-based solutions”. Nature-based solutions are defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.
Ich möchte den Leserinnen und Lesern dieses Blogs ein Merkblatt für die Praxis aus der Schweiz (WSL) empfehlen, das ich relevant finde für die pan-europäischen Themen Waldumbau, resilienter Wald, klimastabiler Wald, Bergschutzwald, etc.
Kürzlich hat u.a. der Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR) über starken Verbiss an Laubbäumen und die entsprechenden Schäden im Harz berichtet: Waldschäden: zu viel Rotwild im Harz. Der Beitrag gibt ebenfalls einen guten Überblick über die Thematik.
Das Verbissprozent – eine Kontrollgröße im Wildmanagement
Wildhuftiere nutzen hauptsächlich im Winter junge Bäume als Nahrungsquelle. Der wiederholte Verbiss von Knospen, Nadeln und jungen Trieben schwächt die Verjüngung oder verhindert sie sogar. Das stellt unter Umständen die nachhaltige Erneuerung des Waldes mit standortsgemäßen Baumarten in Frage. An den Standort optimal angepaßte Baumarten können je nach Standort verschiedene sein: Ein Beispiel wäre der Bergmischwald im Schwarzwald aus Tanne, Buche, Ahorn, Fichte als Hauptbaumarten. Wie stark die Tiere einen Wildlebensraum beeinträchtigen, lässt sich mit dem “Verbissprozent” messen. Das Verbissprozent ist der prozentuale Anteil der Jungbäume mit abgebissenen Pflanzenteilen. Ermittelt wird dieses Prozent für ganze Wildlebensräume und über einen Zeitraum von mehreren Jahren.
Das Verbissprozent ist eine Grösse, die als Ziel im Wald-Wild-Management oder als gesetzliche Auflage gewählt werden kann und objektiv messbar ist. Eine gebräuchliche Form des Verbissprozentes ist der prozentuale Anteil der Bäume zwischen 10 und 130 cm Höhe, bei dem im Verlaufe eines Jahres der Terminaltrieb (der Leittrieb, also verantwortlich für das gerade Höhenwachstum) abgebissen wird. Die Erhebung des Jahresverbisses erlaubt es, Veränderungen von Jahr zu Jahr festzustellen und im Rahmen von Erfolgskontrollen die Wirkung der getroffenen Massnahmen zu überprüfen. Die Massnahmen zur Senkung der Verbissbelastung selbst können ganz unterschiedlicher Art sein: Sie reichen von der Art der Bejagung über die Gestaltung des Lebensraumes, der Förderung von Luchs und Wolf, der land- und forstwirtschaftlichen Nutzung der Landschaft bis zur Lenkung von Tourismus und Freizeitaktivitäten im Wald und der Ausgestaltung der Raumplanung. Weitere Infos hier: Verbissprozent_CH_Merkblatt_WSL_2018_08
How does the Danish Nature Agency address the trend of rewilding? What are the plans to transition managed forests into forest biodiversity reserves in Denmark – and what are the expected benefits and challenges? We discussed these and other questions with Mogens Krog, Deputy forest officer at the Danish Nature Agency.
Mogens, rewilding is a trend in Denmark now – who are the ones who argue for large connected wild nature areas and no further management? And what is the approach of the Danish Nature Agency?
In Denmark there is a growing interest among nature conservationists and nature conservation NGO’s for large connected wild nature with large herbivores (plant eater). A large area in a Danish context is considered to be 500 ha. Some argue for re-introduction of species which have been part of nature in Denmark in pre-historic time, e.g. wild horses, European bison, moose, and even elephants. Others find domestic animals such as cattle and horses, sufficient to create natural disturbances in nature areas for the benefit of biodiversity.
Denmark is a much regulated landscape with agriculture covering more than 60 % of the land area. Therefore, it may be relative expensive to include private land in rewilding projects Also, in order to avoid major conflicts with agricultural interests, rewilding is likely to be limited to large fences. State owned land is the focus of rewilding interests. In Denmark, state owned land is primarily managed by the Danish Nature Agency under the Ministry of the Environment and Food and covers app. 5% of the total land area in Denmark (210.000 ha).
The project oFOREST, funded by the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, Switzerland aims at
identifying and reviewing relevant examples of integrated forest management
providing an overview over existing principles and concepts
establishing and maintaining a network of forest expertise and increasing the «tool-box» of management options in multifunctional forest management.
The main product will be a book publication that includes real forest management examples on an enterprise basis and theoretical background chapters on the specific framing situations in forestry across Europe. Influencing factors on developments but also the potentials for adaptations and changes will be analysed for the different regions.
What does resilience mean to you? Is it the ability to endure stress and still be able to perform? Or the capacity to recover after a catastrophe? Either answer could be right, as the definition of resilience is under a continuous debate. However, as current forest policies advocate building resilience with forest management, they create a point of frustration for forest managers: how do you implement something that you are not exactly sure of what it means in the first place? We tackled this problem with a workshop “Operationalizing Forest Resilience”, that was organised on the 6th and 7th of September 2018 in Bonn. We invited scientists from Europe and the USA to discuss how we can help forest managers to implement resilience in practice. And it is not as easy as you would think.
How can we approach young urban populations and inform them about the importance of forest use and protection? The easiest way might be to connect an important function of the forest and an important part of their life: recreation.
When we asked the participants of the “Mighty Forest Event” on Saturday, September 15th in Düsseldorf, what the forest means to them, said young urban population confirmed this connection. We were happy to hear numerous statements like “The forest is a place to relax”; “We enjoy the fresh air provided by the trees”; as well as: “I like to walk or do sports in the forest”.
As the name might suggest, the event was all about sneakers and forests. Afew, a fashionable sneakers store in Düsseldorf, designed and produced the sneaker “Mighty Forest” with a few extra details to support reforestation and to raise awareness of the situation of forests worldwide. The release took place in the framework of the “German Forest days” (Deutsche Waldtage), where organizations and institutions all over Germany organized events in and around the forests with a special focus on sports and recreation. The “Mighty forest” was limited to 300 pairs. As part of the project, Afew supports the planting of ten trees with the help of Plant-for-the-Planet for every pair of sneakers they sell. We as European Forest Institute’s Resilience Programme provided the project with the scientific knowledge behind the booklet which educates about crucial forest related facts and accompanied each pair of sneakers.