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Tag: I-MAESTRO

“Herkulesaufgabe in Zeiten maximaler Unsicherheit”

Auch wenn unsere Nachrichten derzeit von anderen Themen dominiert werden:  Am Internationalen Tag des Waldes tauchte aus endlosen Pandemie-Wellen und dem Krieg in der Ukraine kurz auch mal wieder das Thema Wald und Klimaerwärmung auf. Die aktuell krassen Temperaturrekorde in Arktis und Antarktis betreffen den Wald zwar nicht direkt, aber selbst Klimawissenschaftler*innen sind beunruhigt über die unerwartet starke Anhäufung von Extremereignissen. Jegliches Mittelmaß scheint dem Wetter abhandengekommen zu sein. Nachdem im Winter noch die Alarmglocken auf der Iberischen Halbinsel läuteten, weil wochenlang alle Niederschläge mit den Tiefdruckgebieten nach Mitteleuropa abgedrängt wurden, hat sich das Blatt jetzt radikal gedreht. Statt Trockenstress sind dort nun Unwetterwarnungen wegen Starkniederschlägen angezeigt. Ich freue mich immer über März-Sonne, aber Wälder und Äcker sehnen sich hierzulande schon wieder nach Feuchtigkeit – es hat ja kaum nennenswert geregnet den ganzen Monat. Der Klimawandel mag von anderen Themen überdeckt werden, ist aber weiter aktuell und alarmierend. Das weiß auch der seit 100 Tagen amtierende Bundesminister Cem Özdemir, der in seinem Grußwort zum digitalen Waldsymposium am Tag des Waldes unterstrichen hat, wie wichtig die Förderung der Anpassungsfähigkeit unserer Wälder in diesen Zeiten ist.  

Die Anpassung von Wäldern und Waldwirtschaft an den Klimawandel wird uns als Thema noch lange beschäftigen. Der Wissenschaftliche Beirat für Waldpolitik (WBW), der die Bundesregierung bei der Gestaltung der Rahmenbedingungen für eine nachhaltige Bewirtschaftung der Wälder unterstützt, hat zu diesem Thema im Oktober ein Gutachten veröffentlicht. Darin werden – basierend auf aktuellen Forschungserkenntnissen – Handlungsempfehlungen in unterschiedlichen Themenfeldern formuliert.  

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Forests’ potential for climate change mitigation: Buildings as a global carbon sink

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.

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Forest recovery after large and severe disturbances in Slovenia

By Matteo Cerioni, Gal Fidej, Patrick Vallet, Marcus Lindner & Gesche Schifferdecker

After seeing thousands of hectares of spruce forest die after disturbances all over Europe in the past years, it seems like spruce is our problem child – at least in Central and Eastern Europe. Spruce died in monocultures, but was also more affected than other species by e.g. storm and bark beetle damages in mixed forest stands. This had and still has both significant ecological as well as financial impacts because spruce is an economically important species.

When looking at the future – and the increased forest disturbances we can expect due to climate change – it is crucial to find out how forests recover after being damaged. Looking at different forest areas in Slovenia hit by severe disturbances, a group of researchers from the Department for Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources at University of Ljubljana focused on the following questions: How do mixed forests with varying share of spruce recover after ice storms, bark beetle damage, and windthrow? Which regeneration characteristics are useful to assess the forest recovery? And how does forest management influence both the impact of disturbances as well as the regeneration process?

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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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Investigating potential future climate, disturbance and forest management effects

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. We are now introducing Mats Mahnken, PhD researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

What is PIK contributing to I-Maestro?

PIK is involved in I-Maestro with tasks regarding forest modelling and simulation of forest dynamics taking into account environmental change effects and forest management. It is using the forest model 4C (‘FORESEE’ – Forest Ecosystems in a Changing Environment) at different spatial scales and will also be involved in work dealing with data for model comparisons and data for calibration. Thus, we are applying the expertise of the working group on Forest and Ecosystem Resilience at PIK from prior projects that focused on modelling shifts in temperature and precipitation and possible adaptive forest management on European forests as well as projects on model comparison and data harmonization.

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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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