EGU24-15141, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Biological legacies as nature-based solutions to maintain protective effects in alpine mountain forests

Paul Richter and Emanuele Lingua
Paul Richter and Emanuele Lingua
  • Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova, Legnaro (PD), Italy (

In mountainous regions, protective forests are crucial for maintaining ecosystem stability. The impact of natural disturbances on these forests and their ability to provide essential ecosystem services is evident. Therefore, evaluating the remaining protection offered by biological legacies and the dynamics of forest recovery becomes highly relevant in the face of climate change.

This research adopts a multiscale methodology, ranging from individual trees to landscape analysis, employing diverse techniques and data sources such as field studies, lidar, satellite imagery, and UAV data. The primary objective of this study is to enhance comprehension regarding the impact, capabilities, and real-time service life of natural disturbance legacies within protective forests, particularly in mitigating rockfall risks. Additionally, the research aims to contribute to a more profound understanding for a more ecologically sound and effective post-disturbance forest management approach. The study zones are located in the North-East of Italy and include areas impacted by windthrow as well as forest fire sites.

Between five to ten years post-event, ongoing field assessments aim to comprehensively evaluate the degradation status of existing deadwood. This analysis takes into account specific conditions, including altitude, tree species, and soil characteristics. This comprehensive analysis involves the deployment of sensors for prolonged monitoring of moisture levels, water content in logs, climate data collection, and sampling for dry-matter content and decay assessment of deadwood. The ultimate objective of this research is to enhance scientific insights into decay conditions, contributing to a substantiated, application-oriented understanding of the "service lifetime" of biological legacies following a disturbance event in protective forests, particularly in their role against rockfall.

How to cite: Richter, P. and Lingua, E.: Biological legacies as nature-based solutions to maintain protective effects in alpine mountain forests, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15141,, 2024.