FORECO - The role of forest recovery from biotic and abiotic threats for risk resilient management




Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft


Cornelius Senf


The aim of the FORECO project is to provide tools for identifying and operationalizing sustainable and multifunctional forest use and management strategies, which simultaneously consider ecological and economic risks arising from biotic and abiotic threats in the coming decades (i.e., drought, storm, bark beetles) and take into account forest recovery from disturbances. In close collaboration with local, national and EU-level stakeholders, we will identify needs of forest practitioners, advisors and policy makers for evidence to inform adaptation strategies in face of increasing vulnerability of forests and uncertainty about the future. Thus, the main research questions of our project are:

  1. How vulnerable are European forests to the major biotic and abiotic threats (drought, storm, bark beetle) and how are forest disturbances modulated by forest structure?
  2. How well are European forests recovering from major biotic and abiotic threats, and how is recovery influenced by management strategies?
  3. How should current forest management regimes in Europe be adapted to make stand structures and tree species composition robust to biotic and abiotic threats to ensure sustainable wood production and ecosystem service provisioning?
  4. How does uncertainty about future climate, the impacts of biotic and abiotic threats and timber market prices influence optimal forest management regimes in the coming decades?

The core of our methodological approach is a systematic analysis of remote sensing and ground-based monitoring data, and a process-based modelling platform for managed forests coupled with a multi-objective, risk-sensitive optimization model to schedule potential trends in forest ecosystem functioning, ecosystem service provision and optimal management regimes under changing biotic and abiotic threats and timber markets. At EDFM we will in particular advance the use of optical and active remote sensing for better characterizing forest recovery from disturbances, with a special emphasis on storm and bark beetle disturbances.