Improving forest resilience and enhancing biodiversity in European Forests: findings, experiences, and prospects

Improving forest resilience and enhancing biodiversity in European Forests:  findings, experiences, and prospects

For two days, on June 28-29, over 50 marteloscope managers, researchers, and further forestry experts from more than 12 European countries participated in a workshop in Bonn to discuss technical, practical, learning, training, and research issues related to the conservation of microhabitats and biodiversity at marteloscope-monitored sites all over Europe.

Welcoming words by Miguel Ramírez López, from Tragsatec (on behalf of the Spanish Chair of the Integrate Network).

The first day of the workshop was held at the Wissenschaftszentrum in Bonn with a welcome speech by Miguel Ramirez Lopez, representative of the Spanish Chair of the Integrate Network, Matthias Schwoerer, from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and Gesche Schifferdecker, from the European Forest Institute, that was hosting the event. The first presentations were aimed towards the effects of thinning on emerging habitats (presentation by Ulrich Mergner), and the new developments of the I+ software (presentation by Jakob Derks).

Among the topics addressed on the first day, there were two main categories: prospects on the use of marteloscopes, narrative ways of communicating the results obtained and the opportunities and challenges related to Integrated Forest Management in general. Examples and success stories of the use of marteloscopes at sites in Ireland (presentation by Jonathan Spazzi), Italy (presentation by Serena Corezzola), Serbia (presentation by Nenad Petrovic), Czechia (presentation by Lenka Lehnerova), Spain (presentation by Miguel Ramírez), Germany (presentation by Carolin Stiehl), and France (presentation by Laurent Larrieu) were analyzed. For the panel on communications, the main topics were the generation of thrilling stories based on integrated forest management (presentation by Gesche Schifferdecker), and a portrait of Alexander Held, who has a long career as an expert on wildfire prevention and vast experience dealing with the press. At the end of the discussions, the group shared an evening of typical food from the North Rhine region in a traditional brewery in the center of Bonn.

Nenad Petrović from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Forestry.

For the second day of talks, education and research were the main topics presented. During the multiple presentations, researchers from different countries discussed practical uses and research results such as the outcomes of a survey on using marteloscopes for research (presentation by Jakob Derks and Lyla O’Brien), the artificial generation of microhabitats (presentation by Michael Junginger), appropriate tree species selection (presentation by Hannes Cosyns), and the relationship between microhabitat studies and demographic use of forests (presentation by Benoit Courbaud).

Michael Junginger, from the University of Würzurg.

A second panel aimed to have a look at the specific use of marteloscopes for education, both in schools and universities. Tools for university students such as, introduced by Manuel Kurt from the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL in Bern, Switzerland, were highlighted as helpful instruments for further research (presentation by Manuel Kurt). Another experience from students at the University of Copenhagen showed the public how it can be used for carbon modeling (presentation by Andrew Stratton and Huntley Brownell). Projects focused on forest education in primary and secondary schools were founded in Freiburg with the WaldHaus, where the marteloscope site is a core part of the educational program (presentation by Lisa Hafer), in Copenhagen with the School Forest Carolinum (presentation by Alexa Beaucamp), and from Bonn speaking about MULTIPLIERS, a project that aims for open science communities that enhance science learning at schools (presentation by Jana Schilbert).

Andrew Stratton and Huntley Brownell from the University of Copenhagen

For newer managers, there was also a short presentation at the end to guide them on how to conduct workshops and training to become a professional in reading data from marteloscopes and the I+ software (presentation by Jakob Derks). To finalize the session, there was an update on the current status of the Integrate Network and it’s Multi-Donor-Trust-Fund, explaining more about the future of the network (presentation by Maria Schloßmacher).

The marteloscope managers’ workshop finished on the afternoon of June 29 with an excursion to the Kottenforst forest located in the south of Bonn. There, together with foresters from the Forest Enterprise Rhein Sieg Erft, we hiked the forest including a marteloscope site while the local forest managers described their approaches to promote integrated and resilient forest management for recreational and industrial use of timber and carbon storage.

In the end, the invitation remains open for the next European Integrate Network annual meeting in Madrid, Spain, October 19-21, 2021.