Climate change is evident and we will expect that the Finnish forests will look different in the future because of increasing temperature and change in precipitation. However, forest management will also have to adapt to financial pressure. Pushed by both these drivers, forest owners will have to change their management practices by, for instance, changing the rotation period (the lifetime of the forest from planting to harvesting), the planted tree species, and the drainage of peatlands. Changing these parameters will again feed back on the climate. “Also, Finnish people have a strong connection with forests; changing the way they look or the way they can be used will stir people’s emotions. This, in turn, affects the willingness to change forest practices”, says Ditte Mogensen who is working on this multidisciplinary problem in the iLEAPS-HENVI project “Optimizing forest management and conservation to account for multiple interactions with the climate“. Other FCoE people taking part in this project include Eero Nikinmaa and Jaana Bäck from Forest Ecology, Michael Boy from our Division, and Ari Laaksonen from FMI.
The research program will, for the first time, analyze jointly all potentially important climate change impacts of forestry. Tradeoffs between the different climate change impacts and interactions between climate change mitigation and other forest uses will be analyzed. The research results have high relevancy for policy makers as we will analyse the full effects of forest management on climate change, tradeoffs between climate change mitigation and other forest services, as well as the social acceptability of climate change mitigation in the forestry.
The study is a collaborative effort between University of Helsinki department of Forest Sciences, and division of Atmospheric Sciences of department of Physics and the faculty of Social Sciences, the Finnish Forest Research institute and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.