Published (reviewed and quality assured)
Justification for indicator selection
Forests contain 77 % of the global carbon pool in vegetation biomass and hence play an important role in the global carbon cycle (Dixon et al., 1994; IPCC, 2007). Forests and woodlands provide many things that society values, including food, marketable products, medicines, biodiversity, carbon reservoirs and opportunities for recreation.
In addition, they regulate biogeochemical cycles and contribute to soil and water conservation. Changes in global climate and atmospheric composition are likely to have an impact on most of these goods and services, with significant impacts on socioeconomic systems (Winnett, 1998).
Management has a significant influence on the development of the growing stock and forest productivity. Adaptation measures include changes to plantation practices and forest management, the planting of different species mixtures, better matching of the species to the specific site, planting of similar species from their places of origin and non-native species in anticipation of climate change (Broadmeadow et al., 2003), and the restoration of forest typologies that could offer greater flexibility to climate change (Kolling, 2008).
- References Bakkenes, M.; Alkemade, J. R. M.; Ihle, F.; Leemans, R. and Latour, J. B., 2002. Assessing effects of forecasted climate change on the diversity and distribution of European higher plants for 2050. Global Change Biology 8: 390-407. Broadmeadow, M.; Ray, D.; Sing, L. and Poulsom, E., 2003. Climate change and British woodland: what does the future hold? Forest Research Annual Reports and Accounts 2002-2003. HMSO, Edinburgh, pp. 70-83. Casalegno, S.; Amatulli, G.; Bastrup-Birk, A.; Houston, T., 2007. Modelling Current and Future Distribution of European Forest Categories. Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Ecological Modelling: Challenges for ecological modelling in a changing world: Global Changes, Sustainability and Ecosystem Based Management. 27-30 November 2007. Trieste, Italy. Dixon, R. K.; Brown, S.; Houghton, R. A.; Solomon, A. M.; Trexler, M. C. and Wisniewski, J., 1994. Carbon pools and flux of global forest ecosystems. Science 263: 185-190. Eastaugh, C., 2008. IUFRO Occasional Paper No. 21: Adaptations of Forests to Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Review ISSN 1024-414X Harrison, P. A.; Berry, P. M.; Butt, N.; New, M., 2006. Modelling climate change impacts on species' distributions at the European scale: implications for conservation policy. Environmental Science & Policy 9: 116-128. Heim, R. R., 2002. A review of twentieth-century drought indices used in the United States. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 83: 1149-1165. IPCC, 2007. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Parry, K. L.; Canziani, O. F.; Palutikof, J. P.; van der Linden, P. J. and Hanson, C. E. (eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Kölling, C., 2008. Wälder im Klimawandel: Die Forstwirtschaft muss sich anpassen. In: Lozán, H. Graßl, H.; Jendritzky, G.; Karbe, L.; Reise, K. (Hrsg.) Unter Mitwirkung von W. A.; Magnuson, J. J.; Robertson, D. M.; Benson, B. J.; Wynne, R. H.; Livingstone, D. M.; Arai, T.; Assel, R. A.; Barry, R. G.; Card, V.; Kuusisto, E.; Granin, N. G.; Prowse, T. D.; Stewart, K. M.; Vuglinski, V. S., 2000. Historical trends in lake and river ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere. Science 289: 1743-1746. Spiecker, H.; Mielikainen, K.; Kohl, M.; Skovsgaard, J. P.; 1996. Growth Trends in European Forests: Studies from 12 Countries. Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. pp. 372. Winnett, S. M., 1998. Potential effects of climate change on U.S. forests: a review. Climate Research 11: 39-49.
- Current (2000) and projected (2100) forest coverage in Europe
- Impacts of climate change on forest growth and forest conditions
Policy context and targets
No context has been specified
No targets have been specified
Related policy documents
No related policy documents have been specified
Key policy question
Methodology for indicator calculation
Methodology for gap filling
No methodology references available.
EEA data references
- No datasets have been specified here.
Data sources in latest figures
Data sets uncertainty
No uncertainty has been specified
Short term work
Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.
Long term work
Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.
Responsibility and ownership
EEA Contact InfoHans-Martin Füssel
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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