MW³ – Standardized monitoring of growth responses of important forest tree species to climatic extreme events

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The main objective of the planned project is the development of a standardized monitoring system and protocol to record and analyze growth responses of important Central European forest tree species with a focus on climatic extremes.

The system will be based on existing monitoring platforms and will capture the most important key parameters for a cross-scale growth analysis by closely coupling ground-based measurement data, satellite-based remote sensing and tree modelling. For this purpose, the different growth responses of various forest tree species as well as their variability along a west-east transect and an elevation gradient in the area of the German Central Uplands will be investigated.

A special focus lies on investigating extreme events, especially the increased occurrence of drought and heat waves under the influence of climate change. Based on this, climate sensitivities and growth forecasts for different native and non-native forest tree species will be generated. Furthermore, recommendations for current and future forestry practice will be derived. In order to tailor the system as precisely as possible to the needs of silvicultural practice, close cooperation with relevant actors from research and practice will be established during the project.


Department of Geography RWTH Aachen, Department of Physical Geography and Climatology:

  • Prof. Dr. Michael Leuchner (Head)

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-3):
PD Dr. Heye Bogena, Prof. Dr. Harrie-Jan Hendricks-Franssen

Philipps-University of Marburg, Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing (LCRS):
Prof. Dr. Jörg Bendix

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ):
Dr. Theresa Blume (Hydrology), PD Dr. Ingo Heinrich (Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution)

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH (UFZ):
Prof. Dr. Andreas Huth, Dr. Friedrich Bohn (Ecological Modelling), Dr. Corinna Rebmann (Computational Hydrosystems)


Fachagentur Wachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR)

Funding Code 2220WK86A4

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