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Floodplain forests and climate change: silvicultural recommendations for floodplain-forest management with regard to climate protection, biodiversity and economy

Floodplain forests and climate change: silvicultural recommendations for floodplain-forest management with regard to climate protection, biodiversity and economy

Abstract:

 

Forestry in floodplains is presently confronted with a multitude of challenges. In floodplain habitats the spectrum of tree species is restricted by nature. In the past, a focus has often been placed on the establishment of ash forest stands and non-natural monocultures of hybrid poplars. The development and distribution of ash is currently massively endangered due to ash dieback disease. This is reminiscent of Dutch elm disease in the last century and of the black alder, which has been strongly decimated in the last years by pathogens, especially along watercourses. For these species, new "replacement” species must be found, either native or foreign, which fulfill the same nature conservation and economic requirements. Pedunculated oak would be a candidate, but its natural rejuvenation is difficult in floodplains and its artificial rejuvenation expensive. Besides these fundamental problems, uncertainties also exist concerning the future suitability for floodplain silviculture especially affected by climate change with increasing drought risk and enlargement of the vegetation period. This requires rethinking floodplain forest management and developing new concepts (“forest development types”) that on the one hand take the economical function of forest services into account, while considering the needs and demands of climate and nature protection on the other. Main task of the silviculture institute is to evaluate wood production with different tree species as black walnut, wild pear or hornbeam from cultivation to harvest economically. Hence suggestions for different forest development types will be formulated regarding nature conservation aspects and carbon sequestration.


The project is financed by the Federal Ministery of Food and Agriculture and the central coordinating agency in the area of renewable resources in Germany, FNR (Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V.)


Supervision:    Dr. Rüdiger Unseld; Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus,
Duration:        03/ 2018 - 12/ 2020
Partner:          KIT Karlsruhe,

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