Motive Project

Adapting to climate change requires new forest management strategies

by: Minna Korhonen

Which trees can adapt best to climate change - this is one of the key questions which the newly started project "MOdels for AdapTIVE forest Management" (MOTIVE) is trying to answer. MOTIVE investigates adaptive management strategies that address climate and land use change. It also examines the impacts of these changes with respect to a broad range of forest goods and services. The project focuses on a wide range of European forest types under different intensities of forest management. Specific attention will be given to uncertainties and risks and how they can be considered in improved decision support tools.

MOTIVE deals with the development and evaluation of adaptation strategies for the management of European forests under changing climatic conditions. The assessment of these adaptation strategies is done by using a large range of possible scenarios including optimistic predictions (no major changes for forest ecosystems), possible positive effects of climate change (extended growing season and thus increased growth, particularly in northern Europe) and "worst-case" scenarios (extreme deterioration of the growth conditions for trees). MOTIVE also includes case studies for regionally adapted forest management strategies. In these case studies regional stakeholders, including practitioners and decision makers are involved. The case studies can be used to develop general recommendations and guidelines for the management of forests in the context of climate change.

The project is funded by the 7th Framework program of the EU and runs for four years starting 1 May 2009. The project involves 20 partners in 14 countries. MOTIVE held its kick-off meeting in early May 2009 in Freiburg, Germany with close to 40 participants.

Further information Alfons Bieling,

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