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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-07-01 - 2025-06-30

The Paris agreement in 20215 aims for a limited temperature increase of 1.5 to 2 degrees versus the preindustrial time (1850). In achieving this goal by 2050, the emissions from agriculture, industry, traffic and other sources have to be reduced by enhancing the energy efficiency, and the replacement of fossil energy with green energy sources such as wind, solar etc. This change is difficult and requires time. A method which may be put in place immediately is the carbon capture and storage through forest growth. Thus, forests are seen as a “technology” which is in place and until the new “green” technologies are available they can buffer large amounts of carbon. Forests carbon storage can be increased by (i) afforestation and (ii) no harvesting operations for a limited time. Based on this the following challenges for forest management are important: 1. What consequences in the development of the carbon pools result from a limited period of not utilizing forest products from managed forests 2. What impacts for deadwood development including a carbon release from deadwood have to be considered for a limited or unlimited protection of managed forests.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-06-01 - 2025-05-31

It is expected that forest fires will also increase in Central Europe due to climate change, societal changes and changes in land use. For the design of comprehensive prevention strategies in a changed forest fire regime, an integrated forest fire management is needed. In particular, the wildland-urban interface (WUI), the combined zone of vegetation with settlements or critical infrastructure, needs to be considered. Current knowledge on forest fire behavior, vulnerability and possible prevention measures in Europe is primarily limited to Mediterranean countries and is often derived from research results from the USA or Canada. Therefore, a situation- and demand-oriented analyses is needed to assess the local forest fire danger and to propose appropriate prevention measures. Within the framework of the project, the current forest fire situation of high-voltage power lines - as part of the critical infrastructure in Austria - is investigated and the causes for the occurrence of forest fires in the vicinity of power lines are to be identified. Particularly taking into account the effects of man-made climate change, it is necessary to assess the future forest fire danger for high-voltage power lines in Austria. Furthermore, it is necessary to investigate which measures can be taken to minimize the risk of forest fires and the potential occurrence of uncontrolled fires in the vicinity of high-voltage power lines.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-10-01 - 2025-09-30

In the face of climate change, Austrian forests and forestry are facing major challenges. Drought events increasingly cause large-scale forest damage and raise the question whether local tree populations can adapt fast enough to changing climate conditions. Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani A. Rich.) is characterized by high ecological integrability and can well tolerate prolonged dry periods in summer. In its natural range, it usually occurs in mixed stands, being associated with both light and shade tree species. In Central Europe, this forest tree species has not been cultivated so far, with a few exceptions. So far, several studies have indicated differences between specific occurrences concerning the morphological, phenotypic and molecular level. In addition, first provenance trials in France, Italy and Turkey show clear differences between provenances regarding mortality, ecological plasticity and growth performance. Therefore, the choice of origin for afforestation in Austria is crucial for silvicultural and forest ecological success. The aim of the project "CEDRUS4clim" is to: 1.) to investigate provenances of Cedrus libani for their future suitability for cultivation in Austria, by means of provenance trials and climate modeling. 2) to take precautions for a long-term securing of the seed supply with Cedrus libani. 3) Parallel to this, genetic marker sets are to be established (SSRs); (a) to investigate the genetic diversity of the populations studied and (b) as a basis for future origin controls (seed trade).

Supervised Theses and Dissertations