Project: Potential of functional diversity for increasing the disturbance resiliency of forests and forest-based socio-ecological systems

Acronym FUNPOTENTIAL (Reference Number: BiodivClim-40)
Duration 01/04/2021 - 31/03/2024
Project Topic Forests are impacted by climate change both directly and indirectly via increased natural disturbances such as wind, wildfire and insect outbreaks, with negative effects on wood production and the economy. Nature-based solutions (NbS) promise great potential to counter negative disturbance impacts, e.g. by increasing the level and stability of returns from forest management through increasing vertical and horizontal forest structure and diversity. However, to be effective, these NbS need a solid foundation in understanding disturbance, forest dynamics, and economic rationale of forest management. Moreover, the interactions between disturbance and the whole socio-ecological system must be understood, as the wood industry is sensitive to the volatility of wood supply caused by disturbances. In the short term, increasing disturbances can saturate markets with damage wood and decrease wood prices, while in the long term, they can limit production, and the industrial capacity. These effects generate feedbacks to forest use, biodiversity, and climate change mitigation, which are important management objectives. Thus, it is vital to build knowledge of how the whole socio-ecological system responds to disturbances, and how it can manage economic and climate mitigation objectives under climate change and increasing disturbances, while at the same time promoting biodiversity. The use of forest functional diversity, a known resilience factor, could be a key to foster disturbance-aware and climate-smart management. However, economic justifications are needed to motivate owners and enterprises towards nature-based solutions. FUNPOTENTIAL aims to develop disturbance-resilient forest management and policy strategies, which sustain supply of wood, climate services and biodiversity under climate change. To achieve this aim, FUNPOTENTIAL will prepare scenarios of disturbances consistent with Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) and Socioeconomic Development Pathways (SPP). FUNPOTENTIAL will use functional trait diversity to build a theoretical basis for linking disturbances and ecosystem resilience, and develop forest models that apply this information. The scenarios and forest models will be combined with economic analyses to develop optimised nature-based local forest management solutions under changing disturbance regimes and climate. FUNPOTENTIAL seeks policy solutions to be applied at owner and enterprise levels through economic analyses of real landscapes and wood markets, which balance the objectives of mitigating climate change with economic returns in the region. Theoretical work with functional diversity and resilience, and integrating it with economic analyses of real-world socioecological systems creates significant upscaling potential, which benefits biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and policies at EU, national, and regional levels. Case examples, engaging stakeholders, and outreach promote impacts in practice.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The aim of FUNPOTENTIAL is to develop disturbance-resilient forest management concepts and policies that balance the provision of timber and climate services, and sustain biodiversity in a changing climate.
Network BiodivClim
Call 2019-2020 Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Natural Resources Institute Finland Coordinator Finland
2 University of Göttingen Partner Germany
3 French National Institute for for Agriculture, Food and Environment Partner France