Based on the historical and current conditions of the central European forestry sector, it is necessary to transform and stabilise forests via modifying forest structure, especially under the context of changing environmental factors affecting dominantly health status and quantity and quality of wood. Due to global trade and climate change, emerging pests and pathogens are an increasing threat to ecosystems, including temperate and boreal forests.
We can expect the change of forests due to climate change, resulting in different and new raw materials, which must be processed and adapted for later applications as products on the market. It will change our forests and subsequently lead to the Forest of Future and the entire circular economy approach and bio-based economy. Politics and decision-makers at all levels must take this into account in their future strategies. Parallel changes in the job structure, the acceptance of forests and landscape for recreation, natural protection, freshwater delivery, quality and clean air and human well-being or health are essential responses. Biodiversity, not only of trees but also vegetation and wildlife, including insects and fungi as saprophytes or parasites in normal bio-cycling or calamity, will be changed.
The changed disposal of bio-based materials will succeed following these changed production conditions in forests, requiring changes in the whole value chain, new adaptations of wood processing and application steps.
These material changes and usage adaptations mainly cover:
- Material-shift from dominating softwood species to broadleaved or mixed stands
- Higher usage of former lesser-used wood species
- Higher occurrence of warm-dry adapted wood species and their material application (respecting their natural tendency to be invasive in the environment)
- Stronger demands deliver high durable local grown wood materials to exchange non-sustainable durable hardwood species from the subtropical or tropical regions, especially species under CITES agreement
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°952314.