Building on stakeholder requirements and priorities in the case study regions, we will use a combination of forest, land surface and climate models to quantify the impacts of management scenarios on local forest structure, carbon pools and fluxes, including potential EFMI. OptFor-EU employs, in a novel integrative approach:
FMP already considered in the forest models (e.g thinning intensity or tree species selection) will be extended with additional options (e.g. changes in tree species composition) and events like damage and large scale disturbance, thus extending the so-called ‘Business-as-Usual’ FMP, undertaken by European forest managers, into broad and climate-adapted future management options aiming at assessing optimal management solutions. User-derived outputs from model simulations will be used in the DSS.
The DSS provides forest managers optimal solutions for sustainable FMP and decarbonisation of the European forests under different climate change and management scenarios. The DSS will incorporate ready-to-use products, services and guidance with an overarching focus on achieving the goals of the European Green Deal and New EU Forest Strategy. This tool will support the conservation and enhancement of the Earth’s natural carbon sinks in forests, addressing the priorities and objectives of the Horizon Programme’s Land, ocean and water for climate action.
OptFor-EU builds on state-of-the-art datasets, modelling outputs and integrated solutions to provide the first DSS that will enable forest managers to obtain an enhanced understanding of current and future possible changes in forest processes, ecosystem services, vulnerabilities, costs, and adaptive capacities for a range of Forest Management Practices, and socioeconomic and climate scenarios.
The DSS will consider EU forests in general, and old-growth forests will receive a particular attention, through a flexible and scalable system for optimizing short-, medium-, and long-term FES. It will identify Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) providing options for encouraging sustainable forest management and enhancing forest resilience.
The dashboard framework will consider the user experience needs at the case study scale, and will allow users to query the data, screen alternative forest management options, as well as to visualize the outputs of the process-based models and forest climate scenarios. Uncertainties will be highlighted using a “traffic light” approach so that experts can easily take informed decisions and action.
Within this dashboard, the forest managers will also have access to a dedicated forest Wiki and dictionary based on the terminology used for climate and sustainable forest management, at the European level (e.g. iufro.org).
With both local- and EU-scale inputs, the outcome provided by the DSS will enable European forest stakeholders to select management practices that are most appropriate for achieving their specific goals, such as, but not limited to:
(i) mitigating and adapting to climate change,
(ii) maintaining and increasing biodiversity,
(iii) boosting circular forest economy,
(iv) adopting Nature Based Solutions,
(v) integrating socio-economic considerations, and
(vi) forest protection and restoration, through afforestation and reforestation.