EGU24-12739, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Implications of the interactions between climate change, natural disturbances, and management for forest dynamics in Switzerland

Maximiliano Costa and Harald Bugmann
Maximiliano Costa and Harald Bugmann
  • Forest Ecology group, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland (

The Horizon Europe project “eco2adapt” aims to provide support to stakeholders, forest owners and practitioners for managing forests and optimise social and environmental resilience using the concept of nature-based solutions. The project relies on a network of study cases (“Living Labs”), for which distinct management objectives are set. The overarching research question is to identify suitable management strategies to face climate change and novel disturbance regimes. In all Living Labs, the model LandClim will be used to evaluate different management approaches and their outcomes. LandClim is a spatially explicit, dynamic vegetation model that simulates the interactions between climate, natural disturbances and forest management at the landscape scale.

The Swiss Living Lab is located in the Surselva valley, in the canton of Graubünden. It represents the Alpine environment, featuring a wide range of elevations and thus biogeographical zones. Particular attention is dedicated to the protective function of forests against natural hazards (e.g., rockfall and avalanches), since it is the most particular feature of this Living Lab. Sustainable timber production is a key ecosystem service that is investigated as well, especially in the different climate change scenarios. The ultimate goal for the Swiss Living Lab is to identify how different management practices affect the sustainable provision of timber and the protective function of forests in future climate scenarios.

To achieve this goal, we are working with different climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) as well as with a no management scenario, in order to evaluate the potential natural vegetation of the study area, and with multiple management scenarios that are co-created with local stakeholders. The protective efficiency of future stands is evaluated using specific indices for rockfall protection and avalanche mitigation. Simulation results are discussed with stakeholders in order to determine the management scenario to use for the final outputs. The final simulation results are made available to stakeholders so as to support the development of management guidelines and best practices.

How to cite: Costa, M. and Bugmann, H.: Implications of the interactions between climate change, natural disturbances, and management for forest dynamics in Switzerland, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12739,, 2024.