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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-01-01 - 2025-12-31

How can our mountain forests in the Northern Alps be proactively adapted to climate change? In the project, transnationally coordinated information systems will be developed, which will provide forest owners with practical recommendations and best practice examples for the treatment of mountain forests in the 21st century. As a basis, the site factors and forest types in the Northern Alps, which have been worked out in previous Interreg projects, will be dynamized with regard to climate. In afforestation trials and natural regeneration areas from previous projects (including Interreg), the medium-term survival rate and development of various tree species will be documented. In addition, new trials with further tree species, including guest tree species, will be set up and silvicultural measures in old stands will be tested. On this basis, strategies and concepts for the proactive adaptation of mountain forests to climate change will be jointly developed and integrated into operational and official information systems and silvicultural practice aids.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-11-01 - 2025-10-31

Mountain areas are characterized by small-scaled complex, dynamic, socio-ecological conditions and human-environment interactions which impact environmental services. The proposed interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary project will investigate the influence of historical and current land use practices, especially among forests, on runoff generation in order to better distinguish it from the effects of climate change for the periods around 1850, 1960 and 2020. IFE will contribute to the quantification of secondary forest use impacts by experimental and laboratory approaches in test catchments and co-supervision of a PhD candidate.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-03-01 - 2023-12-31

Longer and more frequent spring and summer droughts associated with climate change processes lead to increased mortality of tree seedlings. Key measures need to be found to support sustainable and cost-effective reforestation following large-scale disturbances or forest conversion. One potentially promising lever is the addition of novel, lignin-based hydrogels to increase soil water supply. The project will investigate the interaction of hydrogel with tree seedlings and soils under controlled drought stress conditions. The study consists of two parts: In the rhizobox experiment, soil and ecophysiological methods (incl. D-isotopes) will be used to investigate to what extent spruce or larch can use the water stored in the hydrogels during drought stress periods (spring, summer) (incl. effect on growth above/below ground), and what influence the hydrogel addition has on plant nutrition (incl. ectomycorrhizae, ECM) and the hydraulic system of the plant (roots to leaf). In the 2nd sub-experiment, changes in soil physicochemical properties due to the hydrogel are investigated. Both experiments will be performed with two typical, contrasted (hydraulic properties., nutrient availability) soil types. In cooperation with an ongoing, in situ "forest fund" experiment (same species, soil types), it is subsequently possible to formulate recommendations for the use of hydrogels in forestry practice, to identify (side) effects (ECM, nutrient supply) (and to report back to the hydrogel producers), and to better understand the functional relationships of hydrogel addition and drought stress mitigation on tree seedlings.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations