The networking within FORMASAM has allowed the partners to develop simulation studies at the stand, landscape and European scale that explore the role of forest management with regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Next to the modelling activities, FORMASAM has maintained an active link to the UNECE Forest Sector Outlook Study (FSOS) process and several of the FORMASAM members are involved as active co-authors in the FSOS and leading the climate change chapter.

FORMASAM has facilitated networking of its participants and the wider forest research community during three meetings and an Open Science conference:

1) A kick-off meeting with more than 40 of its members and associated members in Wageningen, NL from 12-14th of November 2018. Besides intriguing scientific keynote presentations from Marcus Lindner, Hans Verkerk and Annikki Mäkelä, representatives of UPM Kymmene and the Dutch State Forest Service gave excellent overview presentations of the challenges for Forest Management from the perspective of a global, multinational company and a country with little forest cover but many societal demands on forests. A highlight, both content-wise and networking-wise, was the joint field trip to a Marteloscope.

2) A second meeting in Grenoble, France from 26-29 of March 2019, during which the management scenarios were consolidated and the exact implementation in the forest models was further refined. This meeting also featured a keynote from Fulvio di Fulvio from IIASA, highlighting links of forest management and land-use modelling to the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). An excursion lead by practitioners from the French Forest Service (ONF) on forest management challenges in mountain forests was also perceived as a great success among the participants.

3) A third meeting in Zvolen, Slovakia from 17-20th of September 2019, during which the contribution to the UNECE Forest Sector Outlook Study (FSOS) was consolidated (TG1) and the model protocols for model comparisons and related model activities were drafted (TG2-4). An excursion and discussion with local forest managers, focusing on forest management challenges in Eastern European countries and Western Balkans as well as a visit to the “Virtual cave”, a showroom for digital forest management tools.

4) A final Open Science conference together with the SUMFOREST projects REFORCE and FOREXCLIM was organised in Potsdam, Germany from 3-6th of March 2020. The conference was attended by around 100 scientists and representatives of NGOs, forest administration and forest companies and also featured a field trip to a typical pine forest in Brandenburg being converted to a mixed forest. The work of the different FORMASAM Task Group members were presented as regular oral contributions in the plenary of the conference and hence have been disseminated to a wide scientific audience.

Policy impact

The contribution to the UNECE Forest Sector Outlook Study (FSOS) is a direct result of the networking within FORMASAM. FSOS is an influential, high-level report by the UNECE for the forest sector both on the policy and business side. The science discussed and generated within FORMASAM is of great value to these decision-makers and it is great to see the expertise of the network could be of such value for this process. The FSOS report is likely to inform political decision on how to adapt the forest sector to climate change and foster the role of forest in climate mitigation.

Stakeholder engagement

The following stakeholder groups where represented / involved during FORMASAM meetings and, through the interaction with the researchers, have contributed to framing the research questions and FORMASAM scenarios especially with regard to climate impacts and adaptation measures:

• Large-scale forest industry through a presentation by a representative of UPM Kymmene at the first FORMASAM meeting

• The Dutch State Forest Service, The French Forest Service, The Slovakian Forest Service and the Brandenburg State Forest Administration as guides during excursions and through presentations at FORMASAM meetings

• The FOREST EUROPE organisation through a presentation at the third FORMASAM meeting

• The UNECE Secretariat organising the FSOS with a keynote presentation at the third FORMASAM meeting

• The wider scientific community including national forest agencies, research companies and international organisations during the final Open Science Conference

Scientific publications & presentations based on FORMASAM

Reyer CPO, Bilogub M, Mahnken M, Gutsch M, Krüger K, Rammig A, Reineking B, Seidl R, Schelhaas M-J, Mäkelä A, Verkerk H: (2020) “Managing forests in the 21st century”. Abstracts of the conference "Managing forests in the 21st century" - held in Potsdam, 3.- 5. March 2020. DOI: 10.2312/pik.2020.002. [Open Access]

Reyer CPO, M-J Schelhaas, A Mäkelä, M Peltoniemi, M Gutsch, M Mahnken, D Loustau, S Martel, K Merganičová, H Meesenburg, T Rötzer, M Heym, A Collalti, E D'Andrea, G Matteucci, A Ibrom, V Kvist Johannsen. (2020) 7. Regional Forests. ISIMIP Simulation2b protocol. Available at: https://www.isimip.org/documents/433/ISIMIP2b_protocol_17Feb2020_noEnergy_regional_forests.pdf

Sebald, J. Thrippleton, T., Rammer, W., Bugmann, H., Seidl, R. (in prep) The role of alpha and beta diversity in buffering the effects of intensifying forest disturbance regimes.

Bugmann H. 2020. The need for a paradigm shift in forest management to cope with global change. FORMASAM final meeting 3.-5.3.2020 Potsdam, Germany.

Dalmonech D. 2020. Little leeway to increase Northern European forests climate change mitigation capacity through alternative management. FORMASAM final meeting 3.-5.3.2020 Potsdam, Germany.

Mäkelä A., Minunno F., Astola H., Sirro L., Peltoniemi M., Häme T. 2020. Forest NPP and volume growth in Finland inferred from climate and satellite data. FORMASAM final meeting 3.-5.3.2020 Potsdam, Germany.

Reyer CPO, B Reineking, A Rammig. 2020 Managing Forests in the 21st Century. FORMASAM final meeting 3.-5.3.2020 Potsdam, Germany.

Schelhaas, MJ. 2019. The FORMASAM Project. Presented at the Expert meeting “Exchange of Experiences in Forest Sector Outlook Studies and Related Work” on 14-2-2019 in Koli, Finland.

Schelhaas MJ. 2020. Short and long term mitigation effects of setting forests aside. FORMASAM final meeting 3.-5.3.2020 Potsdam, Germany.

Sebald J. 2020. The role of alpha and beta diversity in buffering the effects of intensifying disturbance regimes under climate change. FORMASAM final meeting 3.-5.3.2020 Potsdam, Germany.

Seidl R. 2020. Insights on the current and future resilience of Central European forests to bark beetle disturbances. FORMASAM final meeting 3.-5.3.2020 Potsdam, Germany

Lasting scientific networks and cooperation  

The FORMASAM network has established great bonds between the modelling groups that continue running their simulations and writing publications even after the project has finished, linking it with other projects of their own. FORMASAM gave several PhD students the chance to meet and discuss, to contribute to the FSOS study, and agreements have been made for further exchange visits in the future. Hence, the networking has greatly benefitted the overall organisation of the forest modelling community. The final conference with over 100 physical and 40 online participants has also benefitted the networking beyond the forest modelling community. It has also greatly contributed to informing a wide, international scientific community who in turn will act as multiplicators to mainstreaming climate change and forest issues to the general public.