Annals of Forest Science

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 131–137 | Cite as

Climate change impacts in European forests: the expert views of local observers

  • Peter SpathelfEmail author
  • Ernst van der Maaten
  • Marieke van der Maaten-Theunissen
  • Matteo Campioli
  • Dorota Dobrowolska
Opinion Paper


Forests respond differently to changes in climate depending on individual site characteristics and tree status. Site conditions may buffer or boost impacts of heat, drought, and storm events. Considering contemporary changes in climate (Christensen et al. 2007), warming may increase forest productivity in those parts of Europe where growth resources like soil water are not limiting (Nabuurs et al. 2002). However, under conditions of limited resource supply and changed disturbance regime, we may expect a reduction of forest productivity and vitality (Lindner et al. 2010). Major climatic impacts on forests include both singular extreme events (changing climate variability) that are difficult to predict in time and location, as well as less obvious gradual changes (changing mean values) (Bolte et al. 2010; Reyer et al. 2013).

This study presents an analysis of the diverse aspects of climate change impacts on forests in Europe based on the expert views of local observers....


Impact assessment Vulnerability Adaptation Regional differences Forest management 



The authors are grateful to all country nationals that contributed to this study by filling out the questionnaire. In particular, they wish to thank: Andrej Boncina, Asunción Cámara Obregón, Atilla Eredics, Boris Vrbek, Brian Tobin, Bruno Lasserre, Carlos García Güemes, Caroline Vincke, Daphné Asse, Duncan Ray, Elena Rafailova, Elina Vapaavuori, Emil Cienciala, Even Bergseng, František Zemek, Gabriel Spyroglou, Giorgio Matteucci, Guy Landmann, Harald Kvaalen, Heli Peltola, Henn Korjus, Hilppa Gregow, Igor Stefancik, Jan Weger, Joana Amaral Paulo, Kaliopi Radoglou, Kevin Black, Kirsti Jylhä, Liubcho Trichkov, Louis-Michel Nageleisen, Lucian Dincă, Mait Lang, Manuela Branco, Marco Marchetti, Martine Rebetez, Mathieu Jonard, Matija Klopcic, Matthew Saunders, Matteo Vizzarri, Michael Englisch, Michael Müller, Miroslav Svoboda, Myriam Legay, Nikica Ogris, Paula Soares, Quentin Ponette, Rafael Calama Sainz, Roque Rodríguez Soalleiro, Savvas Andrea, Seppo Kellomäki, Seppo Neuvonen, Tibor Priwitzer, Tina Simoncic, Urs Mühlethaler, Veiko Uri, Victor Dan Păcurar, Vladimir Caboun, and Zoran Galić. This research was initiated within the COST Action FP0703 ECHOES’ working group I on climate change impacts.


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Spathelf
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ernst van der Maaten
    • 2
  • Marieke van der Maaten-Theunissen
    • 2
  • Matteo Campioli
    • 3
  • Dorota Dobrowolska
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Forest and EnvironmentEberswalde University for sustainable developmentEberswaldeGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Forest GrowthAlbert-Ludwigs-UniversityFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Research Group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology, Department of BiologyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Forest EcologyForest Research InstituteRaszynPoland

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