Dr Triviño María and working group (ResForest)

311600 €

Enhancing resilience in boreal forests to face climate change challenges

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

Boreal forests provide habitats for many species and contribute greatly to human well-being. Forest biodiversity and ecosystem services are threatened by intensive management that maximizes wood production and by climate change and its associated extreme events (e.g., windthrows, fires and insect outbreaks). One way to cope with these threats and future uncertainty is to enhance forest resilience, that is the ecosystems’ capacity to maintain their main functions and structures in the face of environmental change. Forest resilience can be promoted by adaptive management aiming at increasing both functional (i.e., the variety and complementarity of tree traits) and structural diversity (i.e., increasing the amount of deadwood, variation of tree heights and ages). ResForest aims at strengthening the socio-ecological resilience of Finnish forests by assessing how forest dynamics and forest owners’ preferences and decisions might enhance or limit the resilience of forest ecosystems. Firstly, we will review existing literature to produce a list of forest characteristics linked to forest resilience. Secondly, we will simulate forest dynamics under different management, climate change and disturbance scenarios using LANDIS-II. Forest resilience indicators derived from the literature review will be compared across these scenarios. Thirdly, we will use a choice experiment to assess Finnish forest owners’ willingness to engage in voluntary programs fostering adapted management to enhance forest resilience. Finally, we will integrate both social and ecological dimensions by modifying the proportion of each of the management scenarios applied in LANDIS-II based on the forest owners’ preferences. In addition, ResForest will help to formulate adaptive management recommendations to enhance forest resilience, to identify the main challenges and opportunities in adopting these management practices, and to provide crucial information for developing voluntary programs.