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MANFRED : Management strategies to adapt Alpine Space forests to climate change risks


It is likely that Alpine forests will be disproportionately negatively impacted by climate change. These impacts will likely be seen in tree growth and health, increased spread and intensity of pests and diseases, and a change in tree species distribution. These may in turn have ripple effects on the multiple forest functions, including, for instance: protection against avalanches, flooding, ground slides and water resource protection. Moreover, impacts on the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities could result in major ecological, economic and social consequences. The MANFRED project, aimed at defining management strategies to adapt Alpine Space forests to climate change risks, has two main objectives: (1) Protection and sustainable long-term management of forest ecosystems, and (2) Effective forest management by means of knowledge-based adaptive strategies. These goals should be addressed in three steps consisting of (1) Collection of knowledge on climate change effects on forests' ecosystems, (2) Identification of action requirements at a regional or local level and (3) development, in cooperation with regional political decision makers, of the necessary adaptive strategies. Application of these strategies will allow the MANFRED project to contribute to the goal of obtaining a sustainable development of environment and use of land, in the full respect of the needs of present and future generations. All this will be done taking into strong consideration the EU Gothenburg priorities (2001) of protection and preservation of forest ecosystems as well as of risk prevention and effective management of forest ecosystems. Climate change affects forests and mountain populations on a cross-boundary dimension. Thus, MANFRED project will be carried out by involving, when necessary, experts, students, practitioners and decision-makers from different countries of the Alpine space. MANFRED project's activity is expected to produce numerous results which will have important practical effects. First of all, a "Forest Tree Species Atlas" will be produced, that is a map describing original distribution and growth of main Alpine tree species and their modifications due to climate change. The atlas will be supplemented by a map of trans-alpine seed zones for tree species and a Handbook of "Alternative, Adapted Seed Sources". Creation of a monitoring network for pests and pests complexes and a guide ("Pest Management") for forest owners and decision makers, as well as extreme events and hazard scenarios (storm, fire, drought) maps are further expected results. Other important expected results are the creation of a complete database of extreme forest damage events due to climate change in the Alpine Space and the creation of a compendium of alpine-wide standardized protection indicators and guidelines for protective effect of forests in natural hazards assessment. All these expected results should provide help in managing forest ecosystems through direct involvement of their target groups, that is to say, local authorities, public administrations, forest administrations, forest owners and practitioners, landscape managers, and political decision makers.

Project information

Forest Research Institute of Baden-Wuerttemberg (DE)

Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (AT), Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (AT), Stand Montafon - Forstfonds (AT), Cemagref (FR), French National Forest Service (FR), Bavarian Forest Institute (DE), Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (IT), Italian Ministry for the Environment, the Land and the Sea (IT), Regional Agency for Development of Agriculture and Forestry (IT), Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta (IT), Slovenia Forest Service (SI), Slovenian Forestry Institute (SI), Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (CH), Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (CH)

Source of funding
Interreg IV B Alpine Space

Reference information



Alpine forest, adaptation strategies, species distribution, sustainable management



Climate impacts

Droughts, Storms


Adaptation Measures and Actions, Observations and Scenarios, Vulnerability Assessment


Biodiversity, Disaster Risk Reduction, Forestry, Water management

Geographic characterization


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