While warmer growing season temperatures associated with climate change are likely to be beneficial for the growth of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) forests across much of its range in the boreal biome, climate change may also render spruce more susceptible to biotic and abiotic damage. Major concerns are the risks of extensive windthrow and snow breakage during wet snow events, which may cause substantial economic losses and turn forests from being net carbon sinks into net carbon sources. The probability of such damage is dependent on the local climatic and site factors, as well as on stability-related tree properties that are largely determined by silvicultural actions. To maximize timber yield and the potential of managed spruce forest to capture as much carbon as possible and the same time maintain and/or increase their resilience, there is a need to understand the interactions between tree growth, silvicultural decisions, damage risk and climatic factors.
MARCSMAN aims to provide forest managers with knowledge and tools needed to optimally adapt the management of spruce forests in a changing climate while accounting for risks of wind- and snow damage. This includes tools and models to:
(1) update productivity estimates for Norway spruce stands under changing growing condition with a novel site index estimation method;
(2) map the risks of wind- and snow damage at the individual-tree and stand level; and
(3) project growth and damage risk under alternative spacing and thinning scenarios in a changing climate.