Mountain Forest Management in a Changing World

7-9 July 2015 High Tatra Mountains, Slovakia

Mountain forests are characterized by steep ecological gradients and constraints on silviculture and logging techniques.At high altitudes harsh environmental conditions limit productivity and slow down regeneration processes, making mountain forests sensitive to management interventions. Interest in intensified biomass utilization for energy production and supply of wood-based industries may incease the pressure on mountain forest ecosystems. At the same time, the share of mountain forests where management is abandoned is increasing in Europe because commercial forestry is no longer profitable due to the increasing cost of management and/or decreasing revenues from timber production, or decreasing interest of new landowners in forest management. Beyond wood production and biodiversity conservation, such developments are highly likely to also affect the provisioning of other ecosystem services such as the protection against gravitational hazards or recreational values. Global climate change has been particularly pronounced in mountain regions across the 20th century, reaching twice to three times the temperature increase of the global average. Further climate change is anticipated for the coming decades that will strongly affect mountain regions and thus the delivery of ecosystem services from these areas. The compounding effects of these developments become more acute as there is a large demand for a vast array of ecosystem services by a heterogeneous group of stakeholders.

The conference will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the potentials and limitations of current and possible future approaches to mountain forest management for providing portfolios of ecosystem services under current and future climatic and socio-economic conditions.

Themes of the conference are:
– Potentials and limitations of current management approaches to provide multiple ecosystem services
– Climate change impacts on ecosystem service provisioning in mountain forests
– Disturbance regimes in mountain forests and implications for ecosystem services
– Alternative management strategies in mountain forests and consequences on ecosystem service provisioning
– Decision support tools for mountain forest management
– Governance approaches to secure multiple ecosystem service provisioning in the future.

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segnalato da Marco Mina