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SessFor - Sustainable development of ecosystem services in Swiss forests

Applicant Thürig Esther
Number 172372
Funding scheme NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
Research institution Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Forest Engineering
Start/End 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021
Approved amount 649'434.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Forest Engineering
Environmental Research

Keywords (8)

Forestry; Massimo; forest management strategies; multi-criteria Decision Support System; forest stand model; climate change; SwissStandSim; scenario simulations

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Wir untersuchen die Auswirkung der Waldbewirtschaftung auf verschiedene Leistungen des Waldes. Mit zwei Modellen und diversen Indikatoren simulieren wir die Entwicklung des Waldes und dessen Leistungen unter verschiedenen Bewirtschaftungs- und Klimaszenarien.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Die Holzwirtschaft in der Schweiz hat ein hohes ökonomisches Potenzial. Der Wald erfüllt jedoch weit mehr Leistungen wie Schutz vor Lawinen und Murgängen, Erholung oder Biodiversität. Einige Leistungen werden simultan erbracht, andere konkurrieren sich. Megatrends wie Klimawandel und Energiewende stellen die langfristige Gewährleistung dieser Dienstleistungen vor neue Herausforderungen. Entscheide von heute für die eine oder andere Leistung haben oft Auswirkungen für die nächsten 50 bis 100 Jahre.

Ziel
Wir untersuchen die Reaktion von Wachstum, Mortalität und Regeneration von Wäldern auf sich ändernde klimatische Bedingungen und bauen die dabei identifizierten Prozesse in die Modelle ein. Damit untersuchen wir, wie sich Synergien und Konflikte heutiger Waldleistungen in Zukunft verändern werden. Wichtig dabei ist, dass, auch wenn Mehrfachleistungen des Waldes auf der Bestandesebene nicht gewährleistet sind, diese auf der Landschaftsebene dennoch erfüllt sein können. Durch das Hochrechnen von Bestandesmodellen auf grössere Skalen kann dieser Effekt analysiert werden.

Bedeutung
Zusammen mit Praxispartnern aus dem Forstbereich werden nachhaltige Waldbewirtschaftungsstrategien für verschiedene Waldtypen definiert. Mittels Waldentwicklungsmodellen können ökologische und ökonomische Effekte dieser unterschiedlichen Waldbewirtschaftungen über lange Zeiträume und für verschiedene Skalen abgeschätzt werden. Die Erkenntnisse dieser Studie werden in einem Prototyp für ein IT-basiertes Entscheidungsunterstützungssystem umgesetzt.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Nous étudions l’impact de la gestion forestière sur les prestations écosystémiques des forêts. À l’aide de deux modèles et de divers indicateurs, nous simulons le développement forestier et ses prestations selon différents scénarios de gestion et de conditions climatiques.
Lay summary

Contexte
En Suisse, l’industrie du bois a un fort potentiel économique. Ceci étant, la forêt fournit bien d'autres prestations encore: protection contre les avalanches et les coulées de boue, détente et loisirs ou maintien de la biodiversité par exemple. Certaines prestations sont fournies simultanément, tandis que d’autres se font concurrence. Les tendances de fond telles que le changement climatique et la transition énergétique posent de nouveaux défis pour la fourniture durable de ces prestations. Les décisions prises aujourd’hui en faveur de l’une ou de l’autre prestation ont souvent des répercussions sur les 50 à 100 prochaines années.

Objectifs
Nous étudions la réaction de la croissance, de la mortalité et de la régénération à l'évolution des conditions climatiques et intégrons les processus identifiés dans les modèles. Ainsi, nous analysons la manière dont les synergies et les conflits des prestations forestières d’aujourd’hui évolueront demain. Il est important de noter que même si de multiples prestations forestières ne sont pas garanties au niveau du peuplement, elles peuvent néanmoins être réalisés au niveau du paysage. Cet effet peut être analysé en extrapolant les modèles à l’échelle des peuplements à des échelles plus importantes.

Importance
En collaboration avec les professionnels du secteur forestier, nous définissons des stratégies de gestion forestière durable pour différents types de forêts. L’utilisation de modèles de développement forestier permet d’estimer les effets écologiques et économiques de ces différents systèmes de gestion forestière sur de longues périodes et à différentes échelles. Les résultats de cette étude seront concrétisés dans un prototype d’un système informatique d’aide à la décision.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
We are studying the impacts of forest management on a variety of forest services. Using two models and a range of indicators we are simulating forest development and services with a variety of management and climate scenarios.
Lay summary

Background
The wood industry in Switzerland has great economic potential. The forest provides many more services than protection from avalanches and debris flows, recreation and biodiversity. Some services are provided simultaneously, others compete with each other. Megatrends such as climate change and energy transitions present new challenges to safeguarding the sustainability of these services. Today’s decision for one or the other service can have consequences for the next 50 to 100 years.

Aims
We aim to investigate the reactions of growth, mortality and regeneration to changing climate conditions and build the identified processes into the models. We will thus determine how synergies and conflicts in current forest services will change in future. In this connection it is important that, even if the forest’s multiple services are not safeguarded, they can nonetheless be fulfilled at the landscape level. This effect can be analysed using extrapolation of existing models to larger scales.

Importance
Together with forestry practitioners, sustainable forest management strategies are being defined for a variety of forest types. Using forest development models it will be possible to assess ecological and economic effects of the different forest management systems over long periods of time and for different scales. Insights from the study will be implemented in a prototype of an IT-based decision-making support system.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Forest service Aargau / Canton Freiburg Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Forest Production Systems / WSL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
136711 MOBSTRAT - Timber mobilisation strategies for Swiss forests: Opportunities and constraints on different spatial and temporal scales 01.04.2012 NRP 66 Resource Wood

Abstract

Global trends such as climate change and energy change challenge the sustainable provision of forest ecosystem services (ES). Although timber in the Swiss forests has a high potential economic value, the range of ES provided by Swiss forests goes far beyond timber, including, e.g., protection against natural hazards, mitigate climate change, reduce soil erosion, regulate water discharge, provide recreation areas and biodiversity. Some of those ES can be provided simultaneously or even synergistically within the same stand while others need to be balanced against each other. Therefore, forest owners and policy-makers often have to make crucial decisions about the importance and weight of future ES. In particular public enterprises are responsible for the management of the Swiss forests consequently playing an important role for the environmental footprint of the Swiss forestry. Due to the relatively slow growth of forests, today’s forest management decisions will affect forest development and ES provision for several decades. This long response time and the possible management-related trade-offs complicate the estimation and prediction of future ES provision.Scenario analyses based on dynamic forest simulation models allow to quantify ecological and economic effects over long time periods (10-100 years) and can be used to support decision making by depicting monetary and non-monetary outcomes of different management strategies and possible environmental changes. Although a large scientific basis is available to assess forest ES provision at various spatial and temporal scales, a comprehensive framework that combines stand-scale accuracy with regional- to national-scale statistical representation including the effects of climate change is currently missing.The project SessFor will link advantages of the long term growth and yield research at the stand scale (summarized in the stand simulator SwissStandSim) with representative national-scale data of the National Forest Inventory (NFI) and the projection thereof (forest scenario model Massimo). We will assess the sensitivity of ES and potential trade-offs and synergies among them in response to different management scenarios and a range of climate change scenarios.To ensure the linkage of the stand and the national model, sample plots from NFI data will be classified for typical forest types and forest stands based on species mixture and site information. Together with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and decision-makers from policy and economy, we will define management scenarios at the stand-scale relevant for operational forest management decisions, and will iteratively simulate their effects on forest development and ES provision using the forest stand simulator SwissStandSim. Based on SwissStandSim and the assembled knowledge and tools we will develop a prototype for a multi-criteria Decision Support System (DSS) for forest practice. As a last step, we will up-scale the scenarios based on the stand-scale results by implementing them in the forest management scenario model Massimo that is representative at the national level.SessFor will be the first initiative to deliver an estimate of climate change effects on forest development and ES for the whole of Switzerland based on nationally representative data and models. Results will provide decision-makers with 1) a comprehensive and integrated evaluation of different forest management strategies and climate change scenarios in terms of trade-offs and synergies among all relevant ES and 2) a prototype for an IT-based decision support system (DSS) for forest practice for planning of future management decisions.
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