Project: Scenarios for a sustainable future forest green infrastructure

Acronym GREENFUTUREFOREST (Reference Number: 20)
Duration 31/12/2016 - 30/12/2019
Project Topic Wood production is a pivotal provisioning ecosystem service of major economic importance, yet inappropriate forest utilization is a key reason for species declines across Europe and globally. Thus, it is essential to rethink current forestry to secure a high future timber yield and viable (meta)populations of forest-dwelling species, both of which are major aspects of the green infrastructure (GI). In this context, we propose to use an integrated modelling approach by combing forest growth, occupancy and (meta)population models to address the following eight research aims: Aim i) is to estimate the global demand for wood and the potential for regional supply of wood in central European and boreal forests during the coming 100 years. We will incorporate global change drivers for future GI design, including combined effects of climate and socio-economical changes, to understand their effects on population viability of forest-dwelling species and ecosystem services, i.e. forest profits. Aim ii) is to formulate and simulate landscape-scale scenarios of forestry and conservation that are profitable and allow long-term persistence of species, i.e. scenarios for a functioning GI. We will model different scenarios to study the influence of landscape management policy on future outcomes of the GI. This step will reveal which alternative forest management or conservation methods should be used to design, develop and sustain resilient future GIs. Aim iii) is to review major uncertainties related to climate change and potential adaptive responses in forestry management. We draw on the concept ‘insurance value’ to assess the value of forestry strategies which decreases vulnerability. In the example case of increased storm severity, the effects of mixed forests will be estimated in monetary terms to be incuded in the net present value (NPV), the monetary quantity used by forestry. Aim iv) is to test for effects of GI properties (forest structure, spatial connectivity), and climate variables on the (meta)population dynamics and occurrence of sessile and mobile species (wood-decaying fungi, epiphytic bryophytes, an epiphytic lichen, birds) that have different ecological niches. Aim v) is to develop joint models for the large-scale distribution and landscape-scale (meta)population dynamics of focal species combining systematic research data and Citizen Science Data (CSD). The CSD quantity has grown exponentially but it remains to be explored how reliable these data are to build models. Thus, we will assess their utility to improve models of occurrence, local colonizations and extinctions. Aim vi) is to test for differences in projected (meta)population size of focal species in the GI among the scenarios for both boreal and central European mixed forests developed in ii). We will assess the influence of the landscape management policy on population viability. Aim vii) is to implement (meta)population models in two widely used forest planning tools (Heureka, SILVA). This step will provide stakeholders and researchers with novel tools to characterize and develop future GI and support management decisions. Aim viii) is to co-design the scenarios, jointly interpret the results (co-production), disseminate project conclusions, and facilitate the use of the forestry planning tools together with the participating stakeholders (co-dissemination) in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and EU-level. These measures should enhance the societal benefits of this research. Our inter- and transdisciplinary approach goes beyond the current state-of-the-art by considering both large-scale forestry and conservation, and by accounting for different scenarios of future global demand for wood products. The scenarios of global wood demand will consider both socioeconomic and climatic aspects. Consequently, this project will increase our understanding of how current and future forestry practice will affect the viability of focal (meta)populations in the GI. This requires an integrated multi-disciplinary approach with biologists, foresters and economists with the specific knowledge of stakeholders (co-production), generating an unprecedented synergy. We will rely on two-way communication with stakeholders throughout the whole project. The resulting co-production of knowledge will ensure valuable input at the beginning of the project (co-design) and the successful co-dissemination of the project findings. In a nutshell, the innovative capacity of this project results from integrating methods in forestry, ecology and biology (which are traditionally addressed separately) together in a holistic landscape-level approach to better understand and manage forested landscapes.
Network BiodivERsA3
Call BiodivERsA3 Joint Call 2015

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Coordinator Sweden
2 Institute of Geoecology, Technische Universität Braunschweig Partner Germany
3 Natural History Museum, University of Oslo Partner Norway
4 Technische Universität München Partner Germany
5 University of Zurich Partner Switzerland