REINFORCE

Project duration

2021 - ongoing

Project overview

REINFORCE: INtegrated landscape management for REsilient mountain FORests under global changes

Forests are key components of modern landscapes, providing essential ecosystem services to humans and sustaining biodiversity. As they mitigate global warming, forest ecosystems are essential elements for meeting the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement and an increase of their future resilience through sustainable management practices is one of the main priorities of the EU policy. Forests are projected to undergo dramatic compositional and structural shifts prompted by global changes, such as intensifying natural disturbance regimes, land use and climate change. This uncertainty makes planning for forest management exceptionally difficult. To date, studies have mainly focused on adapting forest management to climate warming but new interdisciplinary approaches for understanding and implementing tailored adaptation actions are needed to increase forest resilience to a large set of uncertainties.

The overall aim of REINFORCE is to develop multi-scale and integrated forest management strategies to enhance resilience to global changes in European mountain forest landscapes. The project will consist in assessing future forest landscape dynamics in multiple case study regions in the Alps using advanced simulation modelling tools, followed by developing resilience-based forest management plans. This will be accomplished with a novel and innovative approach combining dynamic landscape modelling, functional diversity and network analysis. This approach allows to determine where to intervene more efficiently in stands within the landscape to maximize the resilience of the forests to sudden disturbances and climate change. Mixing multiple expertise and methods, REINFORCE will ultimately contribute in filling the gap between science and local decision-makers by incorporating stakeholder community in building effective and integrated forested landscape management to cope with climate and global changes.

The project follows three main research steps:

  1. Assessing: evaluate future forest landscapes scenarios under uncertain global changes. This objective will be tackled using models of forest landscape dynamics in three case study regions in the Alps.
  2. Planning: develop novel forest management plans to foster resilience to uncertain global changes. This will be tackled with an innovative approach combining modelling, functional diversity and network analysis.
  3. Reinforcing: build integrated forest landscape management plans tailored and adapted to regional and local needs. This objective will be tackled by engaging stakeholders in ranking management alternatives.

Funding

The project is financed from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 891671 awarded to Marco Mina (MSCA-IF-2019) and coordinated by Eurac Research in Bolzano/Bozen, South Tyrol, Italy.

Partners and collaborators

A landscape in the Dolomites of South Tyrol, Italy

Marco Mina
Marco Mina
Research fellow

Forest ecologist, cross-country skier and mountain lover.