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Our forest has become “suitable for the climate” – Lilienfeld

Our forest has become “suitable for the climate” – Lilienfeld

Thomas Tesar, head of the Lilienfeld County Forest Inspectorate, on climate change in the Lilienfeld forests.

Area Newspapers: Can we really notice anything about climate change in our forests?
Thomas Tesar: “The effects of climate change are also leaving their mark on the forests in the Lilienfeld area. Even in the southern parts of the county, which still have a lot of rain, forests are increasingly facing problems due to rapidly changing climatic conditions usually associated with a direct transition from longer dry phases to precipitation events. Heavy rains are also associated with extreme fluctuations in temperature and storm events.A constant supply of water, which is very important for most tree species, is no longer available in some places and cannot be replenished due to short-term oversupply.Specially shallow-rooted tree species, such as The spruce tree, is greatly weakened as a result and is more susceptible to pest infestation as well as to storms and snow breaking. This leads to major problems, particularly in hard-to-reach locations.”

How is it addressed?
Thomas Tesar: “Foresters in the region, acting with insight and thinking mostly in terms of many generations, have already responded, and forests are already being converted into species-rich, structurally rich mixed forests. Supported by subsidies from the Forestry and Rural Development Fund, the natural regeneration of wards. Depending on The type of felling chosen, along with often different growing conditions, will set a colorful mix of tree species.Depending on the location, you can then prioritize different and, for example, deep-rooted tree species such as oak and fir in areas that Whether the additional introduction of warm-loving foreign tree species is promising at this point in time, will soon appear in the northeastern regions of Austria, already severely affected by climate change, the elm and ash that appeared in the recent past.”

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How can a “climate-friendly” forest succeed?
Thomas Tesar: “Not only are forest managers challenged, but also hunters and all users of natural areas must do their part to enable rapid and smooth conversion of forests. Excessive hunting populations, combined with increasing disturbance of habitats, are counterproductive. First steps in the direction have already been identified Correct in the latest three-year shooting plan and through tourism control measures, such as Muckenkogel.The corresponding awareness-raising will also be important in the future.Most of all, after the epidemic-related break in 2023, the Lower Austrian Forest Youth Games can be held again “.

Thomas Tesar is the forest inspector for Lilienfeld County.  |  Photo: Franziska Pfeiffer