Biogeographic Lessons from Romanian Beech-Oak Forest Ecotones for the Future of German Forests– The NEMKLIM Project
The extreme dry and warm summer 2018 in Germany made it evident for biogeographers, but actually also for the public, what consequences climate change might bring on our environment in the decades to come. So, questions arise such as how Central European mixed beech forests will react to these ecological shifts? Will other tree species alongside beech play a more important role? How will species composition react to the forecasted 2 degrees warmer climate? Such questions are topping the list in forestry and other ecological disciplines. Fortunately, there are already existing mixed beech forests in Central Europe that are exposed to such a warmer climate, for instance, in the western Romanian mountains. Therefore, NEMKLIM investigates these beech-oak forest ecotones in the western Carpathians to derive ecological information and its applicability for the benefit of German forests. In particular, NEMKLIM studies natural forest habitats and biological diversity, while developing new strategies for the sustainable use of renewable energy at the interface of nature conservation issues. It uses the “space-for-time-approach” and dendrochronology to investigate the ecological adaptation of five oak taxa and beech, interspecific competition, and its related ecosystem services. Recommendations for policy, suggestions to forestry, and research perspectives will be elaborated.