Impact of Climate Changes on Forest Ecosystems
The first results of a study conducted by WWF-Russia, University of Eastern Finland and the Swedish Forest Agency within the framework of the project "Raising Awareness On Likely Impacts Of Climate Change On Forest Ecosystems In Northwestern Russia" were presented on June 20 in the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Arkhangelsk.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Russian timber companies, federal authorities, as well as experts from scientific and research organizations and environmental NGOs of Russia, Finland, and Sweden.
The main objective of the project is to analyze and assess the impact of climate change on the forests in Arkhangelsk Region and the Republic of Karelia in the long term. In the course of the project, an international team of scientists using computer modeling drafts future scenarios for three types of forest objects: intact forests; secondary forests after clearcuts; young stand subject to intensive forestry with the use of modern methods of forest cultivation. In June, this year, the first results of such modeling for forest objects in Arkhangelsk Region were presented.
"The results of the modeling are tentative, and it is too early to understand the exact consequences as the results are to be further updated and interpreted at the next stages of the study. However, even now we can say that spruce will be at greater risk than other forest-forming species due to its sensitivity to changes in humidity, wind, and groundwater level. Probably, it should be taken into account in the long-term planning of forest management and reforestation," said Andrey Shchegolev, the Head of Arkhangelsk office, WWF-Russia Barents Ecoregion Programme.
During the workshop, the experts from the Swedish Forest Agency also shared their experience of disseminating knowledge about the impact of climate change on forest ecosystems and adaptation opportunities. A separate discussion was devoted to the Сanadian and American experience in assessing the impact of climate change on forest ecosystems, as well as the development and implementation of adaptation measures in forestry.
In Russia, the issues of informing participants of forest relations regarding the impact of climate change on forests and forestry, as well as adaptation measures, may also come to the fore. This may happen in the near future as the approved form of the regional Forest Plan now has a special section on climate change and it requires an assessment of the impact of climate change and the development of adaptation measures.
Headline photo: (c) Julia Kalinicheva / WWF-Russia