Silver fir has the potential to thrive under warmer and drier climate

mixed forest

There is growing scientific evidence that silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) has the capacity to cope with future climate change conditions. Authors of a new study published in the European Journal of Forest Research advocate fostering this emblematic tree species in European forests. It is ecologically and economically important, especially considering its crucial role in the mitigation of erosion and avalanche damage in mountain areas. However, one concern is a parallel increase in future insect attacks since rising temperature and summer drought might favor some pest insects such as the engraver beetle (Borkenkäfer). Thus, authors call for a cautious forest management with a gradual increase in silver fir in mixed forests. For the analysis they combined paleoecological studies with species distribution models.

The research was carried out by SPWS member Prof. Willy Tinner at the Institute of Plant Sciences of the University of Berne with other colleagues.

Reference publication

Vitasse, Y; Bottero, A; Rebetez, M; Conedera, M; Augustin, S; Brang, P; Tinner, W
What is the potential of silver fir to thrive under warmer and drier climate?
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH, 138 (4):547-560; 10.1007/s10342-019-01192-4 AUG 2019