Klimawald Bayreuth - Forests in a changing climate

Pia Bradler1, Landwehr Theresa1, Schmelzle Clarissa1, Aas Gregor2
1 Klimawald Bayreuth
2 Ecological-Botanical Garden (ÖBG)

O 2.2 in Forest disturbances and future choices

14.10.2021, 11:45-12:00, H 36

Forests increasingly suffer from impacts of global change such as increased frequency of droughts, bark beetle attacks or wind throw. With quickly changing environmental conditions, long-lived trees may not be able to keep up. Stable forests, however, are important as they do not only counteract global changes by acting as a carbon sink but also provide multiple other ecosystem services like water provision, temperature regulation or recreation.

The question for both science and forest practice is: How should forests develop and change to be able to cope with future conditions? Currently, large proportions of the German forests are dominated by tree species (Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris) which suffer from the impacts of climate change. A potential mitigation and adaptation strategy is the conversion into species-rich and resilient mixed stocks that are more stable and adjusted to heat and drought events (“Waldumbau”). There are differing opinions on how to reach this aim. Traditional forestry uses artificial regeneration (planting) of alternative native and non-native tree species. Another approach, which is especially advocated for by nature conservation, is to largely reduce management interventions and to solely rely on natural regeneration.

As part of the student-lead “Klimawald Bayreuth” project, four previously damaged forest sites in and around Bayreuth that were mainly dominated by conifers were replanted with a selected mixture of native and non-native tree species. The aim is to assess performance of the planted species under real world conditions and to analyse the intensity and species composition of natural regeneration. The “Klimawald Bayreuth” project further aims at educating about and raising awareness for the impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems.

Keywords: Klimawald Bayreuth, forestry, forest management, climate change

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