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VACCIA Action 9: Assessment of impacts and adaptation measures for forest production; Case study at Northern Häme and Lapland

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The action attempts to clarify how climate change will influence the forest production and production conditions and how that will influence the productivity of alternative silvicultural schemes. Based on the results new suggestions on rotation lengths, thinning cycles and site type specific recommendations of species usage will be made.

Particular problem of climate change impact is due to gradual and transient change of the climate system. In practical forest management this reflects on the uncertainty in selecting appropriate management schedule as the rotation length of commercial forest stand extends well into predicted new climate. The decisions made currently according to the present best knowledge on productive forestry may be less optimal if assessed over the whole rotation in the new environment. This action will analyse the magnitude of the risk involved.

The action will also design a tool to analyse the transient change that combines intensive continuous measurements of climate and the response of forest to that with a forest growth model based on biological growth processes. The biologically based models will be used in economical optimisation to study the best silvicultural practises under changing climate. Established interactions will be simplified into management level models.

The action will be conducted as a case study in Northern Häme (Juupajoki) representing the conditions in South Finland and in eastern Lapland (Salla) representing the northern conditions. Both case study areas belong to the FinLTSER-network.

Methods employed

The study combines long term measurements of climate and forest ecosystem processes, process based models of tree and stand growth, optimization models of forest productivity and forest management models with climate change scenarios. The communication of the results and feedback from the forestry actors will be asked in three seminars organised at different phases of the study.

The atmospheric and forest ecosystem measurements will be done at the SMEAR II and SMEAR I stations situated at the University of Helsinki forestry field station in Juupajoki and at University of Helsinki research station in Salla (both part of Finnish LTSER network).

The study uses existing and reported process based models to predict tree growth changes. The modified tree growth models and variable projectories of forest owner decision making are analysed with the forest management tool SIMO to study how the local forest structure is likely to change. Climate change impacts on logistics are considered, and the impacts of structure and adaptations on the expected income are demonstrated. The structural change and the process models are also used to estimate the carbon sequestration capacity. The same information is used in other studies to predict the whole greenhouse gas balance and how the changes are likely to affect the atmospheric properties.

During the project three seminars are held with the practical forestry organisations and representa-tives of the local communities.

Expected results

  • Model network that streamlines information between ecological measurements, tree growth models, forest management models and economic optimisation tools.
  • Case study predictions of the reactions of tree stands of dominant tree species to expected climate change in southern and northern Finland
  • Improved local understanding of the impacts of climate change and necessary adaptive measures.
  • Profiles of expected reactions of local forest production to climate change

Contact person

Eero Nikinmaa, University of Helsinki, firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi

Published 2013-05-06 at 12:28, updated 2013-05-06 at 12:27