Climate and environment

Climate and environment

Not only does the change in climate have a direct or reciprocal effect on the forest but also various other environmental influences. On the one hand forest management is called upon to promote the adjustment and resilience of the forest. On the other it diminishes some of the human activities affecting the environment.

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Mapping the potential future ranges of tree species in the Alps

We have used a species distribution model (SDM) to predict how species ranges may shift in the Alps as a result of projected climate change. Here we focus on the potential future range shift for two species Fagus sylvatica L. (European beech) and Picea abies (L.) Karst. (Norway spruce).

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Future Climate of the European Alps

Temperatures in the Alps are anticipated to increase between 1.8 and 3.8 °C by 2080, with the highest degree of warming in summer. The Alps will face higher warming than the surrounding mainland with consequences for forestry management.

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Global trends – a challenge for forestry and research

A conference at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL showed that the efficiency of timber usage and marketing could be improved. In the long term technical innovations are needed for raw timber processing.

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Forest soil as a carbon store

Research carried out in the Swiss National Park showed that the carbon content in plants and soil temporarily increases during the reforestation of open spaces. However, the long term total carbon content remains relatively constant.

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Climate change: Forests as a major keeper of greenhouse gases at risk of being lost entirely

Forests might lose their critical role as massive sinks for absorbing greenhouse gases. Climate change-induced environmental stresses threaten to damage forests and even decimate them worldwide.

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Tree-rings show an extensive increase in precipitation

For the first time a 1000 year old oxygen isotope data series has been produced from tree-rings. Using this method precipitation development in the Karakorum Mountains in Northern Pakistan was reconstructed for the last thousand years.

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Ozone levels and injury symptoms in the extreme summer of 2003

Extreme weather conditions, always a stress factor for trees, can lead to vitality loss and to the development of visual injury symptoms. Due to exceptional weather conditions the record summer of 2003 affected the forests in many ways.

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Adverse Ozone Effects on Trees: Understanding a Global Threat to Ecosystem Health

Ozone has become one of the most pervasive and harmful pollutants in the lower atmosphere. Understanding the long-term impact of ozone on the health of forest ecosystems is an area of active and ongoing international research collaboration at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL.

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Heavy metals in Swiss forest soils

Scientists determine the soil contamination with heavy metals in 95 selected forest sites in Switzerland. The results show that heavy metal concentrations often exceed government guide levels.

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Forests and climate change

Due to climate change, not only is the ice melting under the paws of the polar bears, but it also influences our forests. At the "Knowledge Forum 2006" on the subject of "Forests and climate change" scientists of the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL formulated concrete ideas on the future of Swiss forests.

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Heading image: FVA/Waldschutz