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What Is Known About the Management of European Beech Forests Facing Climate Change? A Review


Purpose of Review

This paper aims to retrace the most significant management strategies adopted across European beech forests over the last 25 years, highlighting those that are most efficient and promising. We investigate five main topics including forest management, forest models, species mixture, genetic, and regeneration.

Recent Findings

European beech is one of the most widespread and important tree species for the European forest sector. In the light of the ongoing climate crisis, understanding the growth dynamics and the response of beech forests to climate change is crucial to identify advantageous management strategies. Ecology, growth, management, distribution, interaction with other species, genetic, and regeneration aspects of European beech were investigated in different geographical areas of Europe. Despite recent researches focusing on climate change issues, how adaptation and mitigation measures can be integrated into silvicultural guidelines to improve the resilience of European beech forests remains unclear.


To answer this question, we collected and reviewed articles about the management of European beech facing climate change, which were published in peer-reviewed journals over the last 25 years. Articles were grouped into five geographic European areas, according to the classification used by the State of Europe’s forests. Obtained articles were further clustered into five main topics: management, mixed forest, modelling, genetic, and regeneration. The review highlighted the importance of using long-term monitoring plots to understand the effect of climate change on the stability of European beech forests, suggesting climate-smart measures that would help these forests adapt to climate change.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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This work was realized with the contribution of the LIFE Programme of the European Union — Project AForClimate “Adaptation of FORrest management to CLIMATE variability: an ecological approach” (LIFE15 CCA/IT/000089).

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Antonucci, S., Santopuoli, G., Marchetti, M. et al. What Is Known About the Management of European Beech Forests Facing Climate Change? A Review. Curr Forestry Rep 7, 321–333 (2021).

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  • Fagus sylvatica
  • Silviculture
  • Climate-smart forestry
  • Adaptation
  • Mitigation