Title: Alternative models and robust decision-making for future forest management

Call: Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Actions

Duration: Starting date: 01/04/2016  -  Project end: 30/09/2020

Coordinator: P1 - (SLU) Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet (SE)

Total EU Contribution: € 3.999.998,75

TESAF Budget: € 267.402,50

Responsible Scientific Officer/Investigator: Davide Matteo Pettenella

Research Team: Marco Borga; Paola Gatto; Laura Secco; Mauro Masiero; Giulia Corradini

Brief description: The forests of Europe are expected to generate a broad range of ecosystem services (ES) consistent with European Union (EU) policies and objectives for the environment, energy sectors, and rural development (EP/CEU 2013a; European Commission 2010; EP/CEU 2013b). Those objectives must be met despite increasing risks and uncertainty associated with anthropogenic climatic change, and the complex dynamics of evolving forest governance, ownership structures and land-use patterns. In its current state, European forestry will face these challenges with a high degree of regional commitment to certain paradigms and forest management models (FMMs). These approaches arose historically in response to multiple societal and biogeographic factors that are increasingly distinct from the current and developing demands for ES, and rising socio-ecological vulnerabilities and opportunities. A continued uncritical commitment to these FMMs is unlikely to ensure that Europe’s forests sustain the provisioning of required ES over the coming century, let alone optimize their delivery. Taking just the impacts of climate change as an example, the rising challenges are already manifesting, for example, in the extent of storm damage to even-aged monocultures in Northern and Central Europe, changing fire regimes in the lightly managed forests of the Mediterranean region, and increasing pest and drought damage to the multifunctionally managed forests of Central Europe. 

It is within this context that the ALTERFOR vision is to identify and facilitate the adoption of FMMs in Europe suited to sustaining desired ES delivery over the coming century. To pursue the vision, ALTERFOR sets the following three main objectives to be achieved within the duration of the project:

  1. To identify and develop FMMs robust in their capacity to deliver ES and reduce vulnerabilities at stand to landscape levels
  2. To assess the impact of different FMM combinations in terms of resultant ES baskets on the European level
  3. To facilitate the implementation of desired FMMs through the integration of scientific research and its practical utilisation.

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