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Forests 2011, 2(4), 961-982;

Reviewing the Science and Implementation of Climate Change Adaptation Measures in European Forestry

European Forest Institute (EFI), Torikatu 34, Joensuu 80100, Finland
Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Peter Jordan Straße 82, Vienna A-1190, Austria
Institute of Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Hasenauerstraße 38, Vienna A-1190, Austria
INRA, University of Bordeaux, UMR BIOGECO, 69 Route d’Arcachon, CESTAS Cedex 33612, France
Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-Food and Forest Systems (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, Viterbo 01100, Italy
Italian Academy of Forest Sciences, Piazza Edison 11, Florence 50133, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 July 2011 / Revised: 29 August 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 11 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
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Developing adaptation measures in forestry is an urgent task because the forests regenerated today will have to cope with climate conditions that may drastically change during the life of the trees in the stand. This paper presents a comprehensive review of potential adaptation options in forestry in Europe based on three pillars: a review of the scientific literature, an analysis of current national response strategies, and an expert assessment based on a database compiled in the COST Action ECHOES (Expected Climate Change and Options for European Silviculture). The adaptation measures include responses to both risks and opportunities created by climate change and address all stages of forestry operations. Measures targeted to reduce vulnerability to climate change may either aim to reduce forest sensitivity to adverse climate change impacts or increase adaptive capacity to cope with the changing environmental conditions. Adaptation measures mitigating drought and fire risk such as selection of more drought resistant species and genotypes are crucial. For adaptation to be successful it is of the utmost importance to disseminate the knowledge of suitable adaptation measures to all decision makers from the practice to the policy level. The analysis of the ECHOES database demonstrates that this challenge is well recognized in many European countries. Uncertainty about the full extent of climate change impacts and the suitability of adaptation measures creates a need for monitoring and further research. A better understanding of how to increase adaptive capacity is also needed, as well as regional vulnerability assessments which are crucial for targeting planned adaptation measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: forestry; Europe; climate change; adaptation strategies; forest management forestry; Europe; climate change; adaptation strategies; forest management
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kolström, M.; Lindner, M.; Vilén, T.; Maroschek, M.; Seidl, R.; Lexer, M.J.; Netherer, S.; Kremer, A.; Delzon, S.; Barbati, A.; Marchetti, M.; Corona, P. Reviewing the Science and Implementation of Climate Change Adaptation Measures in European Forestry. Forests 2011, 2, 961-982.

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