Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Spotlight #34 – Investigating Potential and Risks in Biomass

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Outgrown coppice forest near Vienna, Austria

Coppice woodlands once provided significant shares of biomass for thermal energy in the proximity to urban areas, while representing hotspots of biodiversity. Can we adopt traditional management practices to today’s needs and still ensure sustainable production? And how can we harmonize existing guidelines to achieve this goal? The image shows a Quercus-Carpinus dominated outgrown coppice forest that is situated within the city boundaries of Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Viktor Bruckman)

Renewable resources are critical to the sustainable future of our planet. That means biomass is being looked on, in many ways, as a potential game-changer.

It is seen as a mitigator of climate change, as a source of energy and as the source for a variety of bio-based products that range from wood to bio-plastics and composite materials.

Recognizing this, IUFRO’s newly constituted Sustainable Forest Biomass Network Task Force plans to explore the potentials and the risks of further development of biomass – specifically biomass from forests.

The Task Force is one of several organized to advance knowledge under five research themes in accordance with the IUFRO 2015-2019 Strategy. Read more…

Interconnecting forests, science and people

There is a great acceleration going on in the world. The challenges that we are facing – population growth, urbanization, shortage of food and clean water, climate change and many more – are growing fast.

Research networking and global collaboration across scientific disciplines have proved to be an efficient way of generating the scientific knowledge that is indispensable for finding viable solutions to these problems. Read more…

Spotlight #33 – Connecting the Dots among Forests, Soils and Water

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When one thinks of forests, the immediate thought is most likely of trees. That makes sense.

But forests and trees don’t exist in isolation. Things that affect – and are affected by – forests range from human activities to climate; from water and soils to insects and disease and from economics to forest products, to name just a few.

Bitter Springs Mataranka, Northern Territory, Australia.

Bitter Springs Mataranka, Northern Territory, Australia. Photo: markrhiggins (Fotolia)

With that in mind, the IUFRO 2015-2019 Strategy focuses on five research themes: Forests, Soil and Water Interactions; Forests for People; Forests and Climate Change; Forests and Forest-based products for a Greener Future; and Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Biological Invasions. Read more…

A Global Strategy Needed for Forest Health and Biosecurity

"Dead and dying Acacia trees in Asia due to infection by the wilt pathogen Ceratocystis."  Photo by Mike Wingfield

“Dead and dying Acacia trees in Asia due to infection by the wilt pathogen Ceratocystis.” Photo by Mike Wingfield

Scientists call for innovative solutions and a better-coordinated global approach to manage invasive pests and protect the value and potential of planted forests.

(Pretoria/Vienna 21 August 2015) Forests worldwide are continually under threat from introduced insects and pathogens. This is despite the best biosecurity efforts. Without a concerted global effort to understand and control invasive pests, this problem is expected to worsen as international trade increases. Read more…

Spotlight #29 – Supersites for Superior Forest Science

Supersites for Superior Forest Science

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The initiative for establishing Supersites for forest research is only a few years old.

In these supersites, sophisticated, state-of-the-art instruments are used and a multitude of factors in the ecosystem is to be measured to obtain baseline data. As examples: spectrometers will measure how trees absorb and scatter light; laser scanners will map the forest’s three-dimensional structure; soil, plant and atmospheric sciences will be integrated; and mechanistic and policy-oriented modeling will be part of the concept. Read more…

Spotlight #23 – Eucalyptus genome successfully sequenced


Eucalyptus genome successfully sequenced

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Professor Zander Myburg of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in front of Eucalypt trees. Photo by Photowise.

Professor Zander Myburg of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in front of Eucalypt trees. Photo by Photowise.

With a result that offers major potential for the forest industry, an international team of researchers has successfully sequenced and analyzed the genome of Eucalyptus grandis.

“Now that we understand which genes determine specific characteristics in these trees, we will be able to breed trees that grow faster, have higher quality wood and use water and land more efficiently,” said the lead investigator on the project, Prof. Zander Myburg of the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

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Congress Spotlight #22 – Green cities: The benefits of the urban forest


Green cities: The benefits of the urban forest

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Experiencing the floodplain forests of the city of Leipzig, Germany, from the river (photo by Matilda Annerstedt)

Experiencing the floodplain forests of the city of Leipzig, Germany, from the river (photo by Matilda Annerstedt)

The urban forest means different things to different people.

Many of us see only visually pleasing tree-lined streets, or enjoy the coolness afforded by shade trees on hot days.

Those more closely involved with the urban forest see that – and much, much more.

They also see the urban forest in terms of the ecosystem services and values derived from it – reduced energy use of buildings, improved air quality, stream flows, water quality, urban wildlife, human health, climate change (in terms of both mitigation and species composition) and other benefits that are environmental, social and economic.

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Congress Spotlight #20 – The climate’s changing: So should forest management


The climate’s changing: So should forest management


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In Berlin, the capital city of Germany, a comprehensive program of converting pine stands into close-to-nature mixed forest is being implemented, thus making the forest more resilient to future climate change effects, for example. (Photo by IUFRO)

In Berlin, the capital city of Germany, a comprehensive program of converting pine stands into close-to-nature mixed forest is being implemented, thus making the forest more resilient to future climate change effects, for example. (Photo by IUFRO)

As a joke, people used to say: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute. It’ll change.”

Now they say that about the climate – but they’re a lot more serious.

The rapidly changing climate will precipitate related changes throughout nature. And that includes the world’s forests.

Anticipating climate change impacts on forests and adapting policies and management strategies to mitigate those impacts is critical to maintain the health of those forests and, by extension, of the earth.

Forest management for adaptation to climate change” is the theme of a session being presented at the 24th IUFRO World Congress in Salt Lake City this fall, by Drs. Rodney Keenan of the University of Melbourne, Australia; Carina Keskitalo of Umeå University, Sweden; Kalame Fobissie of the World Wildlife Fund Central Africa, Cameroon; and Guangyu Wang of the University of British Columbia, Canada.

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Bringing science to the people

How IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities (SPDC) contributes to enhancing forest science communication within the framework of a Climate Change Adaptation Program in Bhutan.

Photo by András Darabant, BOKU, Austria

Photo by András Darabant, BOKU, Austria

Would you like to see your forest be wrapped up in plastic?  Well, this is what Bhutanese society will witness due to a research project that aims at simulating drought, which may affect the region’s forests in the future as a result of climate change.  In order to inflict drought stress on mature trees, entire research plots of considerable size have been covered with plastic roofs in about 2 m height above ground level, preventing rain water from reaching the soil and roots of trees.  But would local people show understanding for such a measure and approve of it easily?

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IUFRO - The International Union of Forest Research Organizations