Climate change poses threat to Swiss and European forestry sector: study

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-10 21:28:58|Editor: ying
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GENEVA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- In Switzerland, it is not only mountain glaciers that are struggling to keep pace with the rapidly changing climate, but also Norway spruce and European beech trees, a new study showed on Thursday.

The problem poses risks in Switzerland and other European countries for the forestry sector, which relies on spruce wood, a study by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) shows.

It says that these risks could be lessened by relying more on silver fir and using Norway spruce from warmer growth locations.

"Climate change is making Swiss forests warmer and drier," the institute says in its report. The question on how well adapted the trees are today to the future climate will be crucial for the forests' future."

The new results, published in Global Change Biology, are important for forestry practice says WSL.

A research team led by Caroline Heiri investigated for the first time the climate change induced risk faced by the three most important tree species for the Swiss forestry sector and timber industry: Norway spruce, silver fir and European beech.

The researchers conducted their study within the framework of the research program "Forests and Climate Change" run by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment and WSL.

Based on climate scenarios, the research team then estimated the tree populations' risk of being poorly adapted to the climates projected by the end of the 21st century.