Summary Report No. 61


National and Regional Climate Change Impact Assessments in the Forestry Sector - Workshop summary and abstracts of oral and Poster presentations

M. Lindner (July 2000)


Climate change is likely to affect forests and the forest industry during the 21st century. Different processes in forest ecosystems and the forest sector are sensitive to climate and many different projects have been conducted, in which the scale of study varied from the individual leaf to the whole globe. Several attempts have been made to link impact models (e.g., ecological and socio-economic models), and to integrate them in national or regional climate impact assessment studies. However, integration of climate impact assessments for the forestry sector is still a relatively new issue on the research agenda. From November 10 to 13, 1999 the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the European Forest Institute organised a workshop in Wenddoche near Belzig (Germany) to bring together individuals and research groups from the currently developing research community, to provide a forum for the exchange of experience, and to stimulate further research collaboration.

The workshop attracted 31 scientists from 12 countries, representing a wide range of disciplines covering ecophysiology, soils, forest ecology, growth and yield, silviculture, remote sensing, forest policy, and forest economics. Several presentations investigated possible impacts of climate change on forest growth and development. A second major topic was the carbon budget and the possible contribution of forestry to carbon dioxide mitigation. The third important focus was the application of economic models to estimate socio-economic consequences of changes in forest productivity and the linkage of ecological and economic models. Non-timber forest benefits were addressed in one regional impact assessment and in two national integrated assessments from the U.S. and Germany. The latter also included social components with the involvement of stakeholders and the decision making of forest owners under global change.

An important objective of the NIMA workshop was to review the state-of-the-art of integrated climate impact assessments in the forest sector. Three working groups were tasked with discussing the state of knowledge, the currently available methodology, and the remaining uncertainties regarding (i) scaling up impact assessments from stand to regional and national scale, (ii) integrating cross-disciplinary impact assessments, and (iii) climate impact assessments and policy making. Among the issues discussed were scaling up methodologies (e.g. simplification of information, application of models in scaling up, error analysis), different ways of integrating cross-disciplinary impact assessments (linking, coupling, and roofing of simulation models), how to deal with uncertainties, and what information climate impact assessments can provide to policy making.

The participants felt that there is a need for improved cross-disciplinary research collaboration. After a successful and stimulating workshop it was agreed to organise another meeting to continue with the exchange of ideas and experiences, possibly in the U.S.

Theme I - Regional impact assessments


Complete document (0.7 MB)

Lexer, M.J., Hönninger, K., Scheifinger, H., Matulla, C., Groll, N., Kromp-Kolb, H.: The Potential Impacts of Climate Change in the Eastern Alps. A Risk Assessment Based on Large-scale Forest Inventory Data

Lasch, P., Lindner, M., Erhard, M., Wenzel, A.: Regional Impact Assessment on Forest Structure and Functions - The Brandenburg Case Study

Sabaté, S., Garcia, C.A.: Climate Change Impact Assessment in the Mediterranean Region: Analysis of Particular Needs and Tools

Sohngen, B., Medelson, R., Sedjo, R.: Ecological Change and Regional Estimates of Climate Change Impacts on Timber Markets

van der Meer, P.J., Jorritsma, I.T.M., Mohren, G.M.J.: An Approach to Study the Effect of Climate Change on Forest Succession: A Dutch Example

Theme II - National case studies

Joyce, L.A.: America's Forests and Climate Change

Biber, P., Pretzsch, H.: A Growth Simulator and Management Tool Applicable for Impact Assessment on German Forests

Grote, R.: Enlarging the Growth Simulator for Application in an Interdisciplinary Project Concerning Resource Distribution and Competition

Price, D., Hauer, G., Williamson, T.: Fully Integrated Assessment of Climate Change Effects on Forest Systems with Non-linear Response Paths: A Canadian Study

Stolbovoi, V.: Integrated Land Information System of Russia and Forestry in 21st Century

Bernier, P.Y., Boutin, R., Larocque, G.R., Lavigne, M., Fournier, R., Robitaille, G., Paré, D., Huor Ung, C.: Environmental Control of Net Primary Productivity in the Eastern Boreal Forest of Canada: A Project Overview

Theme III - Carbon in Forests and policy making

Hafner, S., Keenan, R., Tickle, P., Landsberg, J.: Estimation of Landscape Level Forest Biomass Accumulation Using a Physiological Growth Model

Perez-Garcia, J., Joyce, L.A., McGuire, A.D.: Integrated Ecological/Economic Assessments at the Global Scale: Lessons Learned and Uncertainties

Schlott, W.G., Duschl, C., Suda, M., Gundermann, E., Beck, R., Döbberle, H., Spellmann, H.: Simulating a Virtual German Forest Enterprise Through the Application of Basic Forest Management Strategies

Liski, J., Perruchoud, D., Karjalainen, T.: Carbon Sink in Forest Soils Induced by Increased Tree Growth in Western Europe

Karjalainen, T., Verkaik, E., Nabuurs, G.-J., Pussinen, A., Liski, J., Erhard, M., Mohren, F.: How to Estimate Impacts of Forest Management and Climate Change on the European Forest Sector Carbon Balance?

Maclaren, P.: Carbon Accounting Methodologies - A Comparison of Real-time, Tonne-years, and One-off Stock Change Approaches


Berninger, F., Grace, J.: CARBO-AGE - A Project under the European Union's 5th Framework Programme

Brzeziecki, B., Buraczyk, W., Drozdowski, S., Gawron, L.: An Adaptive Management of Forests under a Global Change - The Polish Case Study

Döbbeler, H.: Methodological Approach to Characterize Silvicultural Concepts Taking the Yield Level into Account

Cramer, W., et al.: Integrated Assessment of Global Change Impacts on Forests and the Forest Sector in Germany