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Ecosystem services in forests

 

We are studying the impacts of forest management on a variety of forest services. Using two models and a range of indicators we are simulating forest development and services with a variety of management and climate scenarios.

​Project description (ongoing research project)

This project is studying the development of forest services in the next 50 to 100 years using a variety of climate and forest management scenarios. Together with forestry practitioners we will define the iterative forest development aims for a range of forest types, discuss forest management implementations and simulate these scenarios using two different models. One model is based on coherent stocks and enables a realistic implementation of management scenarios, while the other is based on smaller but representative forest sampling and allows extrapolation of results to larger regions and Swiss forests. Using weighted indictors we will evaluate the results with regard to a range of forest services and their interactions.

Background

The wood industry in Switzerland has great economic potential. The forest provides many more services than protection from avalanches and debris flows, recreation and biodiversity. Some services are provided simultaneously, others compete with each other. Megatrends such as climate change and energy transitions present new challenges to safeguarding the sustainability of these services. Today’s decision for one or the other service can have consequences for the next 50 to 100 years.

Aims

We aim to investigate the reactions of growth, mortality and regeneration to changing climate conditions and build the identified processes into the models. We will thus determine how synergies and conflicts in current forest services will change in future. In this connection it is important that, even if the forest’s multiple services are not safeguarded, they can nonetheless be fulfilled at the landscape level. This effect can be analysed using extrapolation of existing models to larger scales.

Importance

Together with forestry practitioners, sustainable forest management strategies are being defined for a variety of forest types. Using forest development models it will be possible to assess ecological and economic effects of the different forest management systems over long periods of time and for different scales. Insights from the study will be implemented in a prototype of an IT-based decision-making support system.

Original title

SessFor - Sustainable development of ecosystem services in Swiss forests

Project leaders

Project leaders

  • Dr. Esther Thürig, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL
  • Dr. Markus Huber, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL (till 31.07.2018)
  • Dr. Brigitte Rohner, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL (from 01.08.2018)

Project partners

  • Dr. Christian Temperli, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL
  • Dr. Golo Stadelmann, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL
  • Dr. Jürgen Zell, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL
  • Dr. Oliver Thees, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL
  • Prof. Dr. Harald Bugmann, Institut für Terrestrische Oekosysteme, ETH Zürich
  • Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU
  • Dr. Nele Rogiers, Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU (from 01.10.2018)

 

 

Further information on this content

 Contact

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Dr. Esther Thürig Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL Zürcherstrasse 111 8903 Birmensdorf +41 44 739 22 36 esther.thuerig@wsl.ch

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