Economic impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on forestry and mitigation potentials through robust management strategies

The current climate changes are amongst the major challenges for forestry. These affect site characteristics and increase stress factors. Another consequence are more frequent extreme events, which lead to calamities that currently attract a high level of attention in companies and society. Changing environmental conditions influence future forest structures and the provision of ecosystem services as well as forest enterprises’ management strategies. An increasing number of empirical models allows quantification of such effects. On that basis it is possible to identify economically optimal forest structures with regards to the objectives of forest owners and society. A current focus is the future composition of tree species.

The aim of this project is to identify how stable forests should be composed to provide high levels of ecosystem services under risks and uncertain environmental conditions. For this, impacts of such environmental changes are to be analyzed. Subsequently, robust adaption strategies can be identified under the consideration of climate-driven risks and uncertainties. For this purpose, the project can apply empirical models of the projects DSS-RiskMan and SURVIVAL-KW.

First, we quantify the influences of natural disturbances on the timber assortment, revenue and harvesting costs. These will be applied to analyze the future tree species selection in current growing areas of the risk-sensitive Norway spruce. In this analysis, the influences of bark beetles as well as the potential mitigation strategies, tree species diversification and forest protection measures, are of particular interest. In a third step, we analyze the influence of spatially correlated extreme weather events on the economically optimal species composition and configuration in a large forest enterprise.


Person in charge:

Fuchs, J. M.; Paul, C.


Funded by: 

PhD project, currently funded by the University of Göttingen


Project partner:

Abteilung Waldwachstum (Nordwestdeutsche Forstliche Versuchsanstalt)

Fachgebiet für Waldinventur und nachhaltige Nutzung (TU München)

Landesbetrieb HessenForst