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Knowledge exchange between Europe and America on forest growth models and optimisation for adaptive forestry

Final Report Summary - FOREADAPT (Knowledge exchange between Europe and America on forest growth models and optimisation for adaptive forestry)

ForEAdapt (Knowledge exchange between Europe and America on forest growth models and optimization for adaptive forestry) is an exchange project supported by a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme within the 7th European Community Framework Programme (FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES).

ForEAdapt is focused on forestry and climate change interactions, including the development of adaptive forest management tools. The seven countries involved (i.e. Portugal, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Chile, Brazil and USA) share key tree species of common interest and a range of similar biogeographic conditions, from Mediterranean to Nordic or alpine, which is very relevant in the context of climate change. The strategic importance of managed and planted forests for multiple purposes is also common to the countries involved, and will provide an extremely relevant and coherent framework and socio-economic background for the different research activities that will be conducted in the project.

ForEAdapt project aims to strengthen research collaboration through active networking, staff exchange and dissemination activities between four European organisations from Portugal, Finland, Spain and Sweden, and five American organisations from Chile, Brazil and USA, countries with which the European Community has an S&T agreement. The nine organisations represent different disciplines (from environmental science, forest inventory and modelling, management, socio-economic analysis operations research to software engineering). The expertise of the different partners involved in this proposal are key to achieving the objectives of the “Knowledge exchange between Europe and America on forest growth models and optimisation for adaptive forestry” -ForEAdapt programme. In order to achieve these objectives the project has been divided in three work packages:

WP1: Forest Models

The forest modelling topic focus on the exchange of forest growth models existing in Europe, Chile, Brazil and United States, either process based, empirical or combined models that use process-based modules enriched by several prediction modules developed using statistical techniques. Another area of interest will be the use of forest models to assess the impact of climate change as well as of intensification of silviculture. The use of models to analyse sustainability of forest management will also be covered, including the ability to estimate several sustainability indicators: environmental, economic and social. The use of models to support decision making in forest management and policy is a very important topic that might also gain from the exchange of experiences between Europe and America.

WP2: Optimisation

The objective of this work package is to develop strategic and multiple-objective stand-level management planning models that address risk and uncertainty. Develop methods and computerized tools to address risks in the context of climate change, applying optimisation as a tool for analyzing optional allocation strategies of European and American forest and wood resources. Finally, we aim at applying optimisation as a tool for analysing long-term strategies for managing forested landscapes under conditions of risk.

WP3: Decision Support Systems (DSS)

This work package aims at developing or improving existing decision support systems (DSS) to incorporate the increased information about forest products and resources from the participant countries and improved methods of logistics. Use case studies, to demonstrate the applicability of the results to actual forest planning problems. In summary, this work package aims at integrating operations research and computer science approaches to optimise forest management.

In this second reporting period a total of 40 researchers conducted 71 secondments (scientific missions) totaling c.a 146 person months. In these visits, all the working groups have been involved (WP1, WP2 and WP3). In terms of scientific progress during the 48 months of the project the researchers have prepared 45 scientific articles (of which 27 are already published or in print and 18 have been submitted) and 22 book chapters (of which 21 have been published and 1 has been submitted), while 12 articles are under preparation. During the project 6 conferences, 1 workshop, 14 research seminars and 2 courses have been organized/co-organized. In total 65 talks in conferences/seminars/workshops and 11 posters have been presented to disseminate results of the project. In addition, ForEAdapt has participated in dissemination activities in other projects (e.g. participating in the MEDFOR Erasmus Mundus program activities). As a result of the participation in various meetings with the MEDFOR consortium all non-EU institutions involved in ForEAdapt joined the MEDFOR Erasmus Mundus programme as associate partners. This provides an excellent opportunity to the MEDfOR students to conduct their Master thesis in these institutions. At the same time it strengthens the participation of researchers and professors from these non-EU institutions in activities carried out by the MEDFOR consortium. On the other hand, joined activities between FORSYS and/or ORCHESTRAcost actions and ForEAdapt have been carried out.

The scientific content of the secondments have helped to develop both, grey literature and scientific publications that will increase the knowledge related to addressing risk and uncertainty in forest planning. Specifically, new optimizations models and new decision support tools have been developed during this period.

As a result of this project, the existing international collaboration among some of the partners has been strengthened while new collaboration has been created with other members of the consortium. This will result in applications for research funding. In summary, there has been a considerable exchange of ideas and methodologies. In fact, several models to address risk and uncertainty of climate change have been developed. Moreover, decisions support systems have been designed and developed which has resulted in improved predictive tools and methods for planning optimal silviculture in the future climate. In summary, with this project the capability for adaptive forestry and risk management related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change has been improved.

Project Coordinator: Dr. Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo.
Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Centro de Estudos Florestais, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa.
Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
tel: +351 21 365 33 66
fax: +351 21 365 33 38
email:Jordigarcia@isa.utl.pt
Project webpage: http://www.isa.utl.pt/cef/pub/foreadapt/
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