Forest functions and climate change
Forests perform many functions and provide services ranging from wood production, climate regulation, protection from natural hazards to providing habitat and recreational space. Forests intensively store carbon and thus represent the largest terrestrial CO2 sink. Changes in climate conditions can harm trees and forests, and affect crucial forests functions and Services.
Climate change is occurring at a pace that mostly prevents evolutionary adaptation of trees and will thus have strong impact on the vitality, the function and the services of forests and on the habitat suitability of native tree species. Drought and high temperatures can jeopardize ecosystem services, for example by reducing tree growth and increasing mortality with impacts on carbon sequestration.
Practice- and policy-relevant robust scientific information on potential effects of increasing temperature and changing precipitation regimes on forest ecosystems is a prerequisite for modern, sustainable forest management. The NCCS priority theme “Forest functions and climate change” aims for the integration and synthesis of existing forest and climate information and the development of innovative new tools supporting communication and outreach for societal, economic and political decision making.
The NCCS is the federal network for climate services. As a national coordination and innovation body, and a centre for knowledge, the NCCS provides a basis for decision making when it comes to matters with climate implications, so as to minimise risk, maximise opportunities and optimise costs.