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Mixed species forest management. Lowering risk, increasing resilience

Project Leader
Nothdurft Arne, Project Leader
ERA-NET Sumforest
Type of Research
Basic Research
Vospernik Sonja, Sub Projectleader
Engel Markus, Project Staff (bis 31.05.2020)
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Forest Growth
Funded by
Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management , Stubenring 1, A-1012 Wien, Austria
Forests are increasingly exposed to climate-driven biotic and abiotic disturbances. Climate change could
thus jeopardize forests' capacity to deliver ecosystem services. There is therefore an urgent need to adapt
forest management so as to promote and improve forest resilience at different spatial and temporal scales.
Mixed forests are considered as one of the main options for adapting to and reducing risks of climate
change. Higher tree species diversity is expected to provide higher productivity, higher temporal stability,
higher resistance and resilience to disturbances and a more diverse portfolio of ecosystem services.
However, knowledge about how to design and manage mixed forests to achieve these potential benefits is
still lacking. REFORM aims at identifying the most optimal composition and management of mixed forests in
order to reduce natural and socio-economic impacts of climate change. REFORM is based on data from
observational, experimental and modelling platforms provided by twelve partners from ten countries covering
different bioclimatic regions in Europe. It will investigate mixed forest features, like species composition,
mixing patterns, stand age and density, that best explain resistance and resilience to biotic and abiotic
disturbances. It will define the management options to achieve and maintain these optimal mixed forest
features. The impact of these management alternatives on the provision of ecosystem services will be also
evaluated. REFORM will provide forest managers with practical tools for increasing resilience of mixed
forests using a scenario analysis at different scales, including local-adapted silviculture guidelines, forest
models, and transnational training forest networks. The project will make recommendations to forest policy
makers for the promotion of resilient mixed forestry.
Climate change; Mixed-species forests; Forest monitoring; Forest growth; Resilience;
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