Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s land surface, and they provide many essential ecological, economic and social services. During the last decades, the scientific community has been alarmed by reports of widespread tree and forest mortality worldwide. Research indicates that this mortality is linked to warmer temperatures, especially when combined with droughts. However, substantial uncertainties exist about precisely how the increasing temperatures and drought cause trees to die. Therefore, realistic predictions of future forest condition and risk assessments of potential broad-scale forest loss are currently not available.
To broadly address this topic, an international group of 65 leading tree physiologists, forest ecologists and modelers from six continents met at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, from Oct 20 – 23, 2014. Organized by Henrik Hartmann, group leader in the Department Biogeochemical Processes, the meeting facilitated interdisciplinary exchanges between diverse experts as a means to assess the frontiers of research on climate-induced tree mortality.
Covering a wide range of disciplines, all meeting participants provided their two most pressing research questions. As a result from a series of discussions and debates, the workshop scientists jointly developed the following declaration to raise public awareness on the anticipated worldwide climate-induced tree mortality, which bears immense societal and ecological consequences.
• Forests are extremely important to society through the many services they provide, and all peoples around the world either depend directly on forests for their livelihood or indirectly benefit from forests.
• Despite existing scientific uncertainties, this group of ecological researchers is confident that many forests are at substantial risk of increased tree death rates and even widespread tree die-off due to projected warmer temperatures, particularly during droughts.
• Thus, this ecological research community wishes to raise awareness of this risk for substan-tial consequences for society from increased forest die-off expected with climate warming, and also that we can reduce this risk by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The wide variation in both geographical study sites and fields of expertise represented by the workshop participants provided an excellent basis to determine current research needs and to help guide future research efforts on drought- and heat-induced tree mortality. The experts reconfirmed that forest health assessments on a global scale are lacking. Concomitantly, the geographical extent of forest die-off at the global scale and the vulnerability of individual biomes to increasing temperatures remain highly uncertain. To determine the patterns and trends of forest mortality globally, researchers urged the development of a global monitoring network on forest conditions, based on both internationally available plot networks and remote sensing. “The scientists at our workshop jointly concluded that such data are not only critical to motivate action from governments, policy makers and forest managers, but also to devise specific action strategies to mitigate the underlying climatic conditions”, Henrik Hartmann said.
The breadth of expertise represented, the highly interactive program and the open atmosphere made the workshop a big success. Nearly all scientists have agreed to reconvene in follow-up workshops, to further address the future of our forests.
For further information please see the meeting webpage at https://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/bgp/pmwiki.php/Main/MortalityWorkshop
Dr. Henrik Hartmann
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Hans Knöll Str. 10
07745 Jena, Germany
Susanne Héjja | Max-Planck-Institut
Microjet generator for highly viscous fluids
13.02.2018 | Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Sweet route to greater yields
08.02.2018 | Rothamsted Research
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy