Comparing an actual and a historical bark beetle outbreak in the Western Harz Mountains (D)

Presenting person: Prof. Dr. Michael Hauhs, Ecological Modelling, BayCEER, University of Bayreuth (Homepage)
Th. 2021-07-08 (12:15-13:45)

The dominant tree species in the Western Harz, Norway spruce (Picea abies), has been repeatedly threatened by a bark beetle (Ips typographus). The current outbreak is documented in the Harz National Park and in adjacent state forests. The presentation will focus at affected areas under joint ownership by the federal state of Lower Saxony. Methodologically, it can be regarded as an attempt in “deep mapping”. “Natural” resources of this region, have a long-history of human use. In the 17th century, a specific shareholder ownership was developed, the “Communion Harz”, which organized resources, forests, water and ores, under a central management. Their reports cover a bark beetle outbreak in 1783, analogue to the current one. These documents reflect two perspectives at the damage: a top-down view of central mining administration and a bottom-up view from local forestry personnel. In the historical outbreak stakeholders of forestry lost against mining representatives. In the actual outbreak foresters stand against nature conservation represented by the national park. The presentation will cover the following aspects: In what sense are the two outbreaks comparable? What can be inferred about changes in human-environment relationships over time? What can be learned about the role of science in the service of various ecosystem managers?

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