Climate change is expected to intensify natural disturbances in forests. Increasing species diversity in forests offers promising options for alleviating the negative impacts of disturbances and increasing the resilience of forests. Making wider use of diversity concepts in forest management could therefore help to improve forest production and mitigate climate change in changing climate conditions and disturbance regimes. However, the economic implications of the changed management and changing disturbance regimes must be better understood to come up with sustainable management solutions under climate change.
The aim of FUNPOTENTIAL is to develop disturbance-resilient forest management concepts and policies that balance the provision of timber and climate services and foster biodiversity in a changing climate.
- Quantify the present disturbance regimes for the study regions by analysing the damage risk probabilities and losses due to damage, and factors that improve the forests’ resilience. Future scenarios of potential disturbance pathways will be charted to support resilience and economic analyses (WP1).
- Evaluate how functional diversity promotes the forest resilience in boreal, temperate and Mediterranean parts of Europe (Finland, Germany, France), focusing on recovery after disturbances. More risk-resilient management principles, which draw from functional and structural diversity of forests will be developed (WP2).
- Study how the tree species and structural diversity influence the profitability of forestry and climate services provided by forests, and how it may promote the resilience of incomes and climate change mitigation under increasing disturbances (WP3).
- Examine optimal policies to reduce disturbance risk in forests by promoting species diversity. Examine how the outcomes of policies to promote carbon storage in forests are affected by the changing disturbance regimes (WP4).
The results of the project will be disseminated in scientific journals and policy briefs, and presentations in various fora. Bidirectional communication between the forest sector stakeholders on the advisory board and in the organised modelling workshops provide feedback for the project on relevant and topical policy issues and questions. The results of the project on disturbance vulnerability, resilient management practices and optimal policies will benefit the development of forestry best practice guidelines in three countries, and the development of national and EU level strategies and policies promoting sustainable use of forests.