During the discussions, forest owners have said that they notice a change in the seasons and an increased growth in the forest. At the same time, many expressed concern about storm damages and infestations by insects and fungi. Forest owners have described how they have been afflicted by storms, even though their forest was well managed.
One way of preventing storm damage is to have a larger proportion of deciduous forest. However, deciduous forest demands a lot of maintenance since the young plants must be protected from game. It is also difficult to know what sort of yield the forest will eventually give. Deciduous forest, which can be used for example in the furniture industry, can give a monetary return that justifies increased maintenance costs. Another measure that influences a forest’s storm resistance is the timing of clearing, thinning and felling.
A decline in demand for paper can open up new opportunities for other products, such as viscose and bioenergy. Both research and risk capital are needed to develop new products and new markets. Forest owners must spread their risks in order to cope with climate change and with the uncertainty of future yield.
This article is part of the Mistra-SWECIA Annual Report 2014.