Site potential was traditionally considered as constant factor determining growth and health condition of forests. Impacts of extreme climate events of the recent past indicate that
• past and projected climatic shifts influence all aspects of abiotic and biotic ecological factors, from soil processes to disease tolerance, primarily in the most vulnerable lower limit of forest distribution in Europe;
• natural resilience potential of forest ecosystems is limited;
• only the complex assessment of all determining factors through a joint utilization of laboratory, field and modelling experiences provides a suitable basis for developing long-term strategies and decision support systems for an adaptive forest management.
The session should provide a platform for identifying knowledge gaps in a wider range of relevant fields such as
• observed and expected tendencies of site conditions determining the niche of forest tree species;
• observed impacts and damage chains in natural ecosystems induced by climate extremes;
• data and methods for complex assessment of forest response to prolonged droughts and other natural abiotic or biotic stress factors;
• climatic threats determining future adaptive forest management;
• case studies for the correlation between site factors (e.g. climate, water holding capacity, soil characteristics) and forest health, growth, distribution, production, etc.;
• modelling of the effect of tree species change on the water and carbon balance;
• methods and tools for decision support and adaptation support in the forestry sector.
Contributions are strongly encouraged from international experiences, ongoing research activities as well as national, regional and local initiatives.