Scientific and Research Projects
KonKlim : Adaptive capacity, growth plasticity and productivity of Norway spruce, silver fir and douglas fir in the context of predicted climatic changes in the Black Forest
Description of the project:
Global warming and other changes in the physical and chemical environment have diverse impacts on forest ecosystems with different effects, depending on the forest composition and site conditions. It is expected that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise in the upcoming decades and as a consequence the intensity, duration and frequency of heat waves and summer droughts in Central Europe will increase.
The aim of the KonKlim research project is to assess the suitability of the economically important coniferous tree species Norway spruce, silver fir and Douglas fir regarding their growth responses to predicted climatic changes and extreme events and their CO2 sink capacities. Due to the long production cycles in forestry and the ecological and economical risks associated with climate change, it is advisable to minimize the uncertainties regarding the admixture of conifers into close-to-nature forest ecosystems, which is seen as an important forest management measure in the context of sustainable development and climate change mitigation policy. The three selected tree species are of great interest to the forest and wood sector. They share a considerably higher volume productivity compared to the deciduous tree species and their favorable stem and wood properties make them particularly suitable for the utilization as construction timber. In the context of Green Economy, a continuously high future demand is expected for the sustainable provision of timber of these tree species.
The joint research project is conducted in close cooperation between the Department of Soil and Environment of the Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg (FVA) and the Chair of Forest Growth of Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg (ALU). The research design is based on a space-for-time substitution approach to study the effects of changing conditions in climate, weather and soil water availability on growth, hydraulic architecture, woody biomass production and carbon sequestration. These parameters will be investigated at various spatial and temporal scales in different site conditions along six altitudinal transects in the Black Forest. For this pur-pose, the project tasks will be carried out by three complementary work packages with the following aims. Work package 1 ("Water availability and growth plasticity", FVA) uses wood anatomical analyzes to identify drought stress indicators, to assess the plasticity and adaptive capacity of the water conducting system in the studied trees, and to evaluate the trade-offs between hydraulic efficiency and safety. In work package 2 ("Tree-ring phenology and prediction of seasonal growth dynamics", ALU), the onset, cessation and duration of secondary growth and xylogenetic processes will be assessed with the support of the weekly sampling of microcores togeth-er with dendrometer measurements. Based on the functional relationships between tree growth phenology and environmental conditions, climate-growth models will be developed to prospectively assess for different climate scenarios the short-, medium- and long-term effects of changes in the length of the growing season and in soil water availability on the growth performance of the studied tree species. Work Package 3 ("Woody biomass production and carbon sequestration", ALU) will contribute an integrated analysis of above-ground woody bio-mass production and carbon sequestration at the scales of the cell, tissue, tree-ring, stem, tree and forest stand to quantify and compare the short-, medium- and long-term CO2 sink potential of the studied tree species within the context of climatic changes. The joint synthesis of the results of the work packages will contribute to a better understanding of the adaptive capacity and phenotypic plasticity of growth and productivity of Norway spruce, silver fir and Douglas fir in perspective of the anticipated climatic changes and extreme climatic events. The project therefore aims to provide the scientific basis for a sustainable woody biomass production in climate stable forest ecosystems with high CO2 sink capacity and simultaneously high substitution potential of the pro-duced wood raw material.
contact person: Stangler D.
Phone: +49 761 203 8543
Start of project: 01.10.2018
End of project: 30.09.2021
Kahle H.-P., Seifert T., Stangler D.
- Linne R.
- Larysch E
- Miller T
- Honer H