WUKS - Forest reconstruction programme climate change in the Bavarian state forest

Background and Goals

In addition to the ongoing forest conversion, the climate change forest conversion programme in the Bavarian state forest will also see 10,000 hectares of coniferous forest converted into mixed forest.

The objective of the special programme is to convert forests in Bavaria so that the proportion of hardwoods in the state's forestry stocks will be at least 50% in the future.

Content time

Research area/region

Country
  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Bavaria
Natural spatial classification
  • Alp and North Bavarian hills
  • Alps
  • Erz Mountains, Thuringian Forest and Bavarian Forest

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

Emission scenario B1 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is used. Modelling is carried out using the WETTREG regional statistical climate model, which is based on modelling of the ECHAM5 global climate model at the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology.

Results: Average annual temperature increase in Bavaria of 1.8°C, average annual reduction in precipitation in Bavaria of 40mm, change in seasonal distribution of temperature and precipitation, more frequent storms, droughts and periods of heat, more heavy rain events, increasing variability of climate.

Parameter (climate signals)
  • Heat waves
  • Altered rainfall patterns
  • Higher average temperatures
  • Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
  • Storm
  • Dry periods
Further Parameters 

late and early frosts, cold winters, temperature drops or wet snow

Time horizon
  • long term = to 2100 and beyond
Further times 

The climate effects resulting from increased heat and drought on the one hand and from late and early frosts, cold winters, temperature drops or wet snow on the other are studied for the forest ecosystem and the ecosystem services provided. The effects are differentiated for different types of trees and for different locations.

In Bavaria, the beech has lower sensitivity than the spruce, which has high sensitivity and comparatively low resilience. Bavaria is primarily a beech area and the majority of the natural or semi-natural beech forests are well equipped for climate change. However, susceptibility is at its greatest at the edges of the climatic envelope. By contrast, non-natural spruce stocks and forests are at particular risk in dry and warm areas. The cultivation risk is lower in cool and wet regions, and the main hazards are insects, wind blast and drought.

Step 2b: Identify and assess risks - Vulnerability, risks and chances

Approach and results 

Background: Here, the term susceptibility or vulnerability to climate changes describes the interactions between the impacts (climate effects) and the different conditions of the forests. The forests' susceptibility depends on the tree species used in forestry and their distance from the edge of their climatic envelopes.

Urgency and priorization of adaptation needs 

Urgency of need for action: For areas with less susceptible stocks due to more favourable mixes of tree species, there is not yet any necessity to act. Therefore, adaptation measures should concentrate on particularly susceptible stocks. Due to the rapid climate change, there is no alternative to forest conversion and concentration on the main affected areas.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

In forestry, adaptation (e.g. of tree species) to local conditions has been an essential element of managing forests in the past. Adaptation measures for a changing climate are therefore taken regularly as part of normal stock rejuvenation.

The forest conversion programme is intended to speed up adaptation to climate change. Particularly vulnerable forests need to be adapted to cope with changes. The focus is on a natural future forest community, keeping a sufficient distance away from the edges of the so-called "climatic envelopes" of the relevant tree species. Mixed stocks enable the risk to be spread.

Time horizon
  • 2071–2100 (far future)

Participants

Funding / Financing 

Bavarian Forest Administration, Bavarian State Ministry of Agriculture and Forests

Project management 

Bavarian Forest Administration

Cooperation/Partners 

Bavarian State Ministry of Agriculture and Forests

Contact

Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Landwirtschaft und Forsten (StMLF)
Ludwigstraße 2
D-80539 München

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Fields of action:
 woodland and forestry