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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-12-01 - 2022-05-31

The objectives of NOBEL are (i) to develop business models and mechanisms to internalise the socio-economic value of forest ecosystems, (ii) combine public policy tools with business models for implementing payments for forest ecosystem services (FES) at multiple levels of forest management and administration, and (iii) demonstrate and compare alternative approaches for payments in 6 pilot demonstrations in Europe. NOBEL will explore the requirements for disseminating spatial information for the development of business models and innovative policies for the provision of FES. In NOBEL three types of business models will be considered a) private households or businesses companies directly pay providers for the provision of FES , b) Business companies pay providers for the FES and pass the costs to their clients, and b) government pays providers for the FES and pass the costs to consumers via taxes or fees. In implementing these business models, alternative mechanisms for the payments (e.g. voluntary payments, natural capital markets) will be explored. A web-based auctioning platform and a spatial information platform will be developed to support the design of business models. For the prediction and optimization of multiple FES a framework of indicators will be designed and available forest ecosystem models will be applied in pilot demonstrations. Management practices, stakeholder attitudes and consumer behaviour will be discussed at European and regional level with policy makers, providers and beneficiaries. The demands for the provision of FES resulting from existing policies will be identified and the governance settings of successful business models will be analysed.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-10-01 - 2021-07-31

A lack of forest site information in Styria asks for a new approach to forest site classification and mapping. Another challenge is the consideration of changing climatic conditions, which will affect the classification of forest sites and the choice of tree species. Theoretical concepts for a new approach in "dynamic site classification" exist, but the implementation of an integrated site and forest classification in for the whole forest area in Styria is a scientific challenge. In this project the forest site classification will be based on a GIS-based geo-ecological stratification model. The database will be based on a digital elevation model, a geological base map, digitally available site and climate data as well as empirical site parameters. A map of forest types will be derived based on several thematic maps, including information about energy, water and nutrient balance. Those parameters will be modeled on the basis of point and area related data, which are then combined into forest types with a uniform combination of factors. The model allows a stratification of the forest types on all sites based on digital geo-ecological parameters (including height about sea level, slope, substrate, terrain, slope). Each forest type is represented on the forest type map at a scale of 1: 25,000. In addition to the ecological facts, each forest type is characterized by a description of silvicultural guidelines containing information on the appropriate choice of tree species, potential hazards and adaptation methods. There guidelines will also describe previous experiences with the tree species and their mixtures, and will provide recommendations for the future forest management with regard to climate change.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-06-01 - 2020-05-31

Disturbances attract a lot of attention as important driver of forest ecosystem development and the related provisioning of ecosystem services. Wind is among the most relevant disturbance factors in temperate forests. Moreover, wind disturbances are closely interrelated with other disturbance fac-tors such as bark beetles which results in complex disturbance regimes. While for predictive ecosys-tem modelling temperature and precipitation related climate drivers are well developed, the quality of wind speed data is low. Overall objective is to develop a methodology to “translate” RCM simulations into wind gust speed proxies that can then be used to drive forest models for climate change impact analysis and adaptation planning. We will use high-resolution weather models to reconstruct wind field structures that resulted in observed forest damage. Comparative analysis with related regional climate models (RCMs) will allow to derive proxies for wind gust speed at the spatial resolution of RCMs. The new wind gust speed estimates will be evaluated twofold: (1) With correlative modelling it will be evaluated how well the improved climate data sets can explain observed local storm damage in forests. (2) At regional scale we will use the improved climate data sets to simulate forest damages from wind and related bark beetle disturbances with a dynamic forets ecosystem model and compare the simulated damage with observed data. Overall, WINDFALLS will contribute to a substantial improvement in the ability to explain and project disturbance regimes.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations