Technical Report 1

Review of recent forest research projects on climate change and CO 2 concentration in Europe

Benedetta Bortoluzzi
Internal Report 1
European Forest Institute, 2000
52 p.

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Climate change can be defined as the long-term fluctuations in temperature, precipitation, wind and all other aspects of the earth's climate often related to the term greenhouse effect. Climate change is not a new phenomenon. The climate has been continuously changing, acting as driving force for biotic and abiotic evolution. The new aspects of climate change we are confronted with, are the timescales within which the change is taking place and human induced disturbances.

Considering the relevance of climate change and CO 2 concentration increase on forest growth, and the effects that changes could have on future land use and use of forests, it is not surprising that many studies, on this subject, have been carried out all over the world. Nevertheless sometimes it is difficult to find specific information or to know who is working on a specific subject because of this vast amount of research.

Thus, the aim of this report is to demonstrate what kind of research has been carried out under way on the impacts of climate change and increasing CO 2 concentration on forests in Europe. The report aims to present the main European and National studies, but does not provide a complete listing of all the studies. Therefore the author welcomes all the additions to this report.

Concerning the EU funded projects, 11 projects have been listed on several fields: forest response to environmental stress, predicted impact of rising CO 2, ecological effects of land-use changes on mountain ecosystems and so on. All these projects cover a time since 1996 till 2000 and some of them are not yet concluded.

In the national projects were found 8 projects for Belgium, 1 for Denmark, Ireland, Portugal and United Kingdom, 2 for Finland and Italy, 3 for Netherlands and Switzerland, 4 for Germany. Even for National projects not all of them are concluded and all together they cover a time range since 1990 till 2000.

This review could be considered like a tool for future research in the field of Climate Change. Indeed a short description is given for each project and, for the most of them, it is also indicated where it is possible to find more information on Internet. In addition, also the name and addresses of contact people are given in order to facilitate the contacts between different working groups.