Motive Project

MOTIVE at the Conference: Tackling climate change - the contribution of forest scientific knowledge

by: Ulla Vänttinen

MOTIVE, together with several international R&D projects, organised a conference in May 2012 looking at the current state of knowledge on climate change impacts on forest ecosystems, services and activities. Over 300 participants from 40 different countries attended the conference, which was held in Tours, France.

The scientific presentations at the conference gave a very comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge regarding climate change impacts, risks and uncertainties, disturbance impacts, and management for adaptation or mitigation, to name a few of the session topics. The following MOTIVE presentations were given in the scientific parallel sessions at the conference:

• Integrating parameter uncertainty of process-based forest models in assessments of global change impacts on forest productivity.
Christopher Reyer - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research - Germany

• Addressing climate change scenarios in eucalypt forest management. A landscape level optimization study case.
Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo – University of Lisbon - Portugal

• Simulated forest productivity and biomass changes under global change.
Christopher Reyer - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research - Germany

• Forest productivity shifts under climate change in Europe: a model-based analysis.
Petra Lasch - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research - Germany

• Impact of climate on growth and mortality of trees in the Black Forest.
Heinrich Spiecker - Institute for Forest Growth - Germany

• Designing Adaptive and Sustainable Forests in Response to Climate Change: A case study in Northern Wales.
Duncan Ray – Forest Research - UK

• Optimizing the management of even-aged beech stands under climate change uncertainty.
Antoni Trasobares – ETH - Switzerland

• The WINDA-GALES wind damage probability planning tool.
Barry Gardiner – Forest Research, Northern Research Station - United Kingdom

• Optimizing the management responses to the climate change in the boreal conditions methods and findings.
Seppo Kellomäki – University of Eastern Finland - Finland

• Wind damage probability-reducing forest management and its effects on recreation- and life-style values, and yield.
Kristina Blennow – University of Agricultural Sciences - Sweden

• Vulnerability assessment of ecosystem services and adaptive management options in Austrian mountain forests under climate change.
Michael Maroschek – Institute of Silviculture - Austria

• Preparedness to climate change in European forestry based on COST ECHOES database on adaptive measures.
Marcus Lindner – European Forest Institute

• Forest owner motivations and attitudes towards land-use change for bio-energy production in Europe.
Kristina Blennow - University of Agricultural Sciences - Sweden

• A web-based tool for participatory vulnerability assessment of forest ecosystem services.
Werner Rammer - Institute of Silviculture - Austria

• No manual for the future: helping private woodland owners to adapt to climate change.
Mariella Marzano – Forest Research - UK

• Modelling for Knowledge Update in Adaptive Forest Management.
Rasoul Yousefpour - Forest & Landscape - Denmark

In the opening session of the conference on 21 May, Dr. Nicklaus E. Zimmermann, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, gave one of the keynote addresses based on MOTIVE results: Climate change and biome shifts. He asked which areas are suitable for specific species, and explained that changes in species are more conservative than suggested in earlier climate change scenarios. Dr. Zimmermann’s presentation, together with other MOTIVE contributions, will be available on the MOTIVE website in June 2012.

MOTIVE partners were also intensively involved as moderators and panelists in the forum for stakeholders and scientists held on 23 May. Four stakeholder panels were organised:
1. Understanding ecological, economic and social climate change impacts
2. Forest management under climate change (adaptation and mitigation)
3. Public policies and governance facing climate change
4. Forest monitoring designed for climate change

The discussion in the first panel touched on the impacts of climate change scenarios, and how to deal with communication on uncertainty. It was stressed that scientific information on climate change impacts and adaptation options should be generated and communicated to decision-makers and forest managers, even though there is no certainty about the future climate and there is no single best adaptive management option.

The second panel discussed adaptation and mitigation options under climate change. Forest management is often based on the expected future conditions, but one question is how managers could relate to the range of scenarios. Interaction with stakeholders is needed in order to understand their interests, and to give expert advice in a meaningful way.

The panel on public policies and governance facing climate change discussed if adaptation and mitigation should be decoupled. Some participants suggested that adaptation and mitigation are linked and that they would need to work in parallel; without adaptation measures, mitigation objectives would not be enough any more. Regarding forest governance, it was mentioned that it loses influence over other policies, e.g. energy policy. The panel suggested that forest governance should be strengthened to allow for more holistic management.

The fourth panel on forest monitoring stated that there is a need to establish a permanent monitoring network in Europe which could focus in damage and mortality e.g. pests, fires, etc.

Finally, the concluding session of the forum stressed again the important effects of climate change: extremes and uncertainty. There are a range of possibilities, and this information should be communicated to decision-makers and forest managers.

The recommendations of the European intergovernmental COST Action Expected Climate Change and Options for European Silviculture (ECHOES) will be available in September 2012, and they will also be linked to the MOTIVE website. Below, more information on MOTIVE contributions is attached for information.

Further information: Dr. Marcus Lindner,

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