Adaptation of forest management to climate change: uncertainties, impacts and risks to forests and forestry in Finland (ADAPT)

ADAPT is a joint research project between the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the University of Eastern Finland funded by Academy of Finland (2012–2016). The aim of the project is to understand the potential impact of climate change on forest growth and management. Weather and climate analyses focus on the combined effect of storms, unfrozen soil conditions, snow loads and sensitivity to forest fires.

Team 1: University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Faculty of Science and Forestry, School of Forest Sciences, Joensuu, Finland  (Consortium and team leader: Prof. Heli Peltola)

Team 2: Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Research and Development, Climate Service Centre, Weather and Climate Research, Helsinki, Finland  (Team leader: Dr. Ari Venäläinen)

The projected climate change may significantly affect the dynamics and functioning of boreal forest ecosystems in Finland. Forest growth, timber production and carbon sequestration of managed forests may increase, but on the other hand, climate change may increase various risks to forests and forestry. Both forest biomass production and carbon sequestration can be simultaneously increased in sustainable and cost-efficient way by applying proper forest management strategies, and taking also into account the associated risks to forests. ADAPT is an attempt for systematic research on uncertainties, impacts and risks associated to adaptation of forest management and forestry in Finland to foreseen climate change, and to mitigation of climate change.

Main research objectives:

  • To identify uncertainties, implications and risks associated to adaptation of management and Finnish forestry to foreseen climate change at various scales.
  • To understand how sensitive the adaptive management strategies are to alternative climate projections.
  • To understand how the current business-as-usual management of Finnish forests should be adapted at various spatial and temporal scales.

Specific research objectives:

  • Deriving probabilities of strong winds, heavy snow loading, forest fires and occurrence of unfrozen soil using the state-of-the-art climate model results for the future
  • Evaluating the effects of management and climate scenarios on forest biomass production, carbon sequestration and  risks by wind and snow to forests and forestry at various scales
  • Exploring ways for sustainable and cost-efficient production of forest biomass and carbon sequestration in changing climate.
  • Defining adaptive management strategies for alternative climate projections

Implementation of the research:

  • The consortium research activities are carried out in four work packages (WPs) which are strongly interconnected (Fig. 1).
  • The FMI team is responsible for WP1 and leads the work in WP2 in co-operation with the UEF team. In WP3, the FMI team co-operates with the UEF team and the work in WP4 is performed jointly by both teams.

Fig. 1. A schematic representation of the Work-Package structure and their inter-connections.