Mountain forests: Stresses, disturbances and ecosystem services (2)

Welcome to the Session 6, 7, and 8 blog, coordinated jointly by Drs. Georg Gratzer and William Keeton. We welcome your comments and questions.  We have provided several summary points and questions below and welcome your response to these in particular.

  1. Studies on biodiversity conservation in forest management frequently suffer from the inclusion of few taxa or few (and often less tested) biodiversity indicators. A long term study presented in this session reflects strong advances in the field by studying the response of a wide array of taxa to forest management schemes over long time.

How could we integrate knowledge and competences towards a better understanding of the full array of forest biodiversity in mountain systems?

  1. They also revealed that combining the demand for timber production with biodiversity conservation is possible (though less profitable), even in mountain forests.

What are the priorities for future research – and are there lessons to be learned in terms of different models of integrated management (integrating different demands)?

  1. Studies of interactions of stressors and disturbances to understand effects on future trajectories of change are required. Presentations discussed multiple interactions of stressors and disturbances across multiple scales.

What are implications of these interactions in terms of landscape management (pre and post-disturbance management and risk reduction; including alternative post disturbance management strategies)?

  1. Landscape modelling of ecosystem services is a powerful tool for optimizing adapted management. Care has to be taken in the selection process of services and input parameters.

What are the critical modeling assumptions and uncertainties regarding modeling of forest change in mountain environments that scientists need to mention and how can these be clearly communicated?

  1. There is a biology in disturbances: there is a longstanding hypothesis regarding effects of disturbance on rates of climatically induced vegetation change. Several of the studies provided support for this hypothesis. Post disturbance wind environments showed acute sensitivity to drought and climate drivers.

How can we scale from micro-sites to stands and landscapes, integrating physiological and geophysical with community processes?  What research is needed to landscape levels?

  1. Clear strategies for adaptation following a national (or multinational) framework or strategy, including vulnerability mapping, stakeholder engagement up to implementation are practiced and seem to provide a suitable model for different regions.

What is needed to implement such schemes and what can be learned from available models?

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