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22 January 2019
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Press Release by Interforst - forests are suffering from climate changes

Press Release by Interforst - forests are suffering from climate changes
Climate and environmental protection is being controversially discussed at a global scale. By contrast, there is general agreement as to the importance of healthy forests showing strong growth; forests are part of many regional and national climate protection programs. However, trees and forests are suffering from climate change themselves. Which strategies can be helpful?

Warmer, dryer and more extreme events: climate forecasts predict more stress for nature—and it is clearly noticeable even today.That calls for a number of measures, "among other things, the planting of climate-tolerant tree species and the provision of suitable means to get control of pests such as bark beetles or oak processionary moths". According to the President of the AGDW, the use of state-of-the-art technology and of the latest scientific findings is also decisive.

A key to long-term forest protection is sustainable management. Actually, abandoned forests are carbon neutral from a very long-term perspective. After trees have died, the carbon stored in the wood is released again; at the same time, young trees recapture carbon. A balance occurs with a more or less constant carbon pool. However, untouched natural forests only withdraw little additional carbon from the atmosphere.

In a managed forest, trees are harvested and the timber is utilized before the degradation process starts. A sustainably managed forest shows high performance as a carbon sink over long periods of time. Therefore, responsible sustainable forest management and an intelligent use of timber as a precious raw material are an important component of and contribution to worldwide climate protection.

Another lever for forest protection is the development of structurally rich mixed forests with a high potential for adaptation. State-of-the-art forest machinery and wood harvesting systems play a big role, too, just like qualification, emphasizes Prof. Dr. Stampfer: "Well-trained experts ensure that the manifold expectations placed on forests are fulfilled without negative effects on the ecosystem."

The right path to take for ensuring stable mixed forests is the subject of quite controversial discussions among experts. Forest owners are claiming political support in order to look for and test alternatives. In the interest of minimizing their risk, many of them intend not only to rely on common domestic tree types, but also on climate-tolerant tree species, such as the Douglas fir, red oak or grand fir as additions.

The discussion on the climate-fit forest is an integral part of INTERFORST scheduled to take place at the Munich exhibition grounds from July 18 to 22, 2018. This is where all relevant groups of forest management will get together and representatives from science, politics and practice will exchange views and ideas.

Source article and pictures:
Press Release by Interforst - forests are suffering from climate changes
November 17, 2017