Activities and events

Upcoming events

  • Webinar: How does sensitivity to climate change vary across Amazon forests?  Insights from ecophysiology, forest dynamics, remote sensing and modelling; online; 5 July 2022, 1600 CEST.
    Speaker: Dr. David Galbraith, Terrestrial Ecosystem Science at the School of Geography, University of Leeds.
    There is a pressing need to better understand and predict the impacts of climate change on Amazon forests, given their important role in the Earth System. In this talk, I present new results that reveal how the sensitivity of Amazon forests to climate stressors varies across the Basin, drawing upon new plant functional trait data collection, forest inventory data analyses, remote sensing and ecosystem modelling.

Past Events

  • Webinar: Forest mortality dynamics in Germany – how can we cope with it?; online; 26 April 2022, 1600 CEST.
    Speaker: Andreas Bolte, Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems, Germany
    In the last years forests in Germany haved faced vitality decreases and mortality dynamics never seen before. About 25% of German forests are projected to be at risk for extensive disturbance events and ecosystem service losses within the next 30 years; their transformation to future resilient forests will cost billions of Euros. Based on an analysis of ongoing mortality dynamics and options for an adaptive forest management, solutions for future forest management will be discussed.
    Video recording of webinar
  • Webinar: Mortality of Afrotropical trees in a temperature manipulation experiment: Result from the Rwanda TREE project; online; 15 March 2022, 4 pm CET.
    Speaker: Bonaventure Ntirugulirwa, Forest Productivity and Improvement Program, Rwanda Forestry Authority, Ministry of Environment in Rwanda.
    Knowledge on mortality responses of tropical trees and communities under projected warmer climate is limited. Trees in tropical montane forests (TMFs) are considered particularly vulnerable to climate change, but this hypothesis remains poorly evaluated due to data scarcity. To reduce the knowledge gap on the warming response of TMFs, we have established a field experiment along an elevation gradient ranging from 2400 m a.s.l. (15.2 °C mean temperature) to 1300 m a.s.l. (20.6 °C mean temperature) in Rwanda.
    Video recording of webinar
  • Webinar: Climate variability, extremes, and attribution of high-impact ecological events: challenges and ways forward; online; 15 February 2022, 4 pm CET.
    Speaker: Dr. Ana Bastos, Max Planck Institute of Biogeochemistry.
    Climate and weather extremes impact tree functioning directly and can further trigger forest disturbances, thus affecting forest functioning and dynamics over periods much longer than the extreme per-se. With increased frequency or intensity of extreme events projected in the coming decades, extreme events might cluster in periods shorter than recovery times, thereby amplifying impacts and potentially inducing degradation and mortality trajectories. Understanding the links between atmospheric variability controlling extreme event occurrence and downstream impacts on forests is, therefore, crucial to: (i) separate trends in disturbance/mortality events due to natural vs. anthropogenically forced climate variability, (ii) improve process understanding about the drivers of high-impact ecological events and (iii) increase the robustness of future projections of forest dynamics.
    Video recording of webinar
  • Webinar: Recipes for Climate-Induced Bark Beetle-Caused Tree Mortality; online; 25 January 2022, 5 pm CET .
    Speaker: Dr. Barbara Bentz, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.
    Globally, native bark beetles are contributing to increases in tree mortality and changes in climate are playing significant roles. Projecting future trends will be complicated by environmentally determined, evolved traits in both host trees and insects. Ingredients for bark beetle population success in future climates will be discussed.
    Video recording of seminar
  • Webinar: Conifer decline and mortality in Siberia; online; 9 December 2021, 2 pm CET / 4 pm MSK.
    Speaker: Dr. Viacheslav Kharuk, Head of the Forest Monitoring Lab at the Sukachev Institute of Forests.
    Conifer decline and mortality in the 21st century has been observed all over the boreal forests zone (e.g., Boyd et al., 2019), Europe (e.g., Hasenauer, & Seidl, 2017), and Russia (e.g., Kharuk et al., 2020). This report focused mostly on the causes of Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica Du Tour.) and fir (Abies sibirica Ledeb) decline and mortality in Siberia. In addition, recent insect (Zeiraphera griseana) and fungi (Melampsora sp.) attacks on the Larix sibirica stands are considered.
    Video recording of seminar  
  • Webinar: Segunda Reunión Preparatoria para BioForestALC: ¿Vamos a hablar sobre Bioeconomía del bosque en la Pan Amazonía?; en línea; 25 de noviembre de 2021, 04:00 PM (Sao Paulo). Inscripción 
  • Webinar: Impacts of disturbances on leaf area index and productivity of terrestrial ecosystems; online; 23 November 2021; 4 pm CET / 10 am EST.
    Speaker: Dr. Yude Pan, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, USA.
    An empirical model depicting the relationship between changes in leaf area index (LAI) and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) of terrestrial ecosystems provides an opportunity exploring these changes at a global scale. As LAI can be an effective indicator for ANPP, it also facilitates observations of larger scaled disturbances on terrestrial ecosystems and evaluating consequences in ANPP. These disturbances originated from both human activities and natural forces. Human disturbances such as deforestation around tropical rainforests evidenced losses in LAI. Natural disturbances related to changing climate are recognisable from intensified wildfires and droughts, which left marks in fire-prone regions and extremely dry lands. Although elevated atmospheric CO2 appeared to have enhanced global ANPP, disturbances and relevant tree mortality caused 30% of vegetated lands with reduced LAI and 14% with decreased ANPP.
    Video Recording of seminar

  • Webinar: Primera Reunión Preparatoria para BioForestALC: ¿Vamos a hablar sobre Bioeconomía del bosque en la Pan Amazonía?; en línea; 20 de octubre de 2021, 09:00 am (Sao Paulo). Inscripción  
  • Webinar: The global emergence of hotter-drought drivers of forest disturbance tipping points; online; 22 June 2021, 5:00 pm CEST.
    Speaker: Dr. Craig D. Allen, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, University of New Mexico
    Current research is presented on global-scale patterns and trends of forest responses to increasingly hotter droughts, particularly extensive tree mortality and forest die-offs involving a range of interactive disturbances (e.g., water stress, insect outbreaks, high-severity wildfire). Diverse cross-scale observations and empirical findings increasingly indicate that amelioration of hotter-drought stress via fertilization of photosynthesis from elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations may soon be overwhelmed by heat and accelerated atmospheric drought. These findings highlight some current challenges in realistically projecting the future of global forest ecosystems (and their associated carbon pools and fluxes) with process-based Earth system models. In particular there is substantial evidence that forests dominated by larger, older trees may be disproportionately vulnerable to increased growth stress and mortality under hotter-drought conditions. The fates of these old trees in response to global change are of vital importance, given that they are essential as: a) disproportionately large carbon sinks; b) among the most biodiverse and rare terrestrial ecosystems; c) irreplaceable archives of environmental history; and d) venerated for many cultural reasons. Key scientific uncertainties that impede modeling progress are outlined, and examples of promising empirical modeling approaches are illustrated.
    Video Recording of seminar
  • Webinar: Tree mortality modeling – a tool for ecological inference and a challenge for projecting forest dynamics;online; 6 May 2021, 5:00 pm CEST
    Speaker: Dr. Lisa Hülsmann, University of Regensburg (Germany)
    Tree death is ubiquitous in forests, even without climate change, and has a lasting impact on forest structure, species composition, biomass, and biodiversity. By relating tree mortality and other vital rates to tree, forest, and environmental conditions, we can therefore identify the mechanisms that govern the shape of forest ecosystems. In turn, these empirical relationships can be useful for projecting future forest dynamics and range limits of tree species. In the talk, I will discuss empirical tree mortality models as a diagnostic opportunity and a modeling challenge through two examples: the role of conspecific negative density dependence (Janzen-Connell effects) for tree diversity and the tighter coupling of dynamic vegetation models to forest data.
    Video Recording of seminar
  • Webinar: Rising tree mortality in the Anthropocene; online; 24 March 2021, 09:00 MDT, 16:00 CET, 20:30 IST
    Speaker: Nate McDowell
    Tree mortality is rising in most documented locations but the drivers and mechanisms of this trend are unknown. Changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, temperature, and vapor pressure deficit, along with drought, are primary potential drivers. Mechanisms linking these drivers to mortality include water, carbon, and pathogen defense processes. These processes are interdependent such that failure of one can lead to failure of the others. Prediction of future mortality is challenged by our understanding of the mechanisms, however, some evidence suggests the growing mortality rates are likely to continue well into the future. The webinar will be concluded with a review of the numerous challenges and opportunities for predicting future tree mortality.
    Video Recording of seminar
  • Webinar: Tree mortality in Australian ecosystems: past, present and future; online; 23 February 2021, 09:00 AM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (GTM +11:00).
    Speaker: Prof Belinda Medlyn, Western Sidney University
    Australia is not only the driest inhabited continent, it also experiences high interannual variability in rainfall, and severe multi-year droughts. Tree death from drought is thus a recurring feature of the Australian landscape. In this talk I will review our current understanding of drought mortality in Australian ecosystems, including the historical context, current field research on the extent and mechanisms of drought dieback and recovery, and the development of models to predict future drought mortality risk.
    Video Recording of Seminar
  • Tree mortality in the Amazon across local hydrological gradients: how water table depth may save or condemn trees as climate changes; online; 19 January 2021, 16:00 hrs CET.
    Speaker: Speaker: Flávia Costa, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (Brazilian Institute of Amazonian Research) - INPA, Brazil
    Dr Costa presented results of 20 years of investigation on patterns of forest response to soil hydrology (more specifically water table depth) during normal and extreme climatic years to examine the hypothesis that shallow water tables buffer forests from droughts and forests in these conditions may even be benefited by droughts. Dr Costa also presented some data on the hydraulic trait distributions along hydrological gradients to analyse the shifting implications to mortality during moderate to strong droughts.
    Video Recording of Seminar             
  • Webinar: Global forest monitoring using satellite data; online; 17 November 2020, 17:00 - approx. 18:30 hrs CET.
    Speaker: Matt C. Hansen, University of Maryland
    Earth observation data enable the monitoring of forest extent and change from national to global scales. Consistent processing of time-series images has made possible the operational production of global tree cover extent, loss and gain products.  However, attribution of dynamics in the context 1) reference state, for example forest type, 2) change factor, for example fire or logging, and 3) outcome, for example land use type or natural recovery, is more challenging.   In addition to mapping, the requirement to perform robust sample-based analyses to report on all themes is underappreciated.  This talk will review our work on characterizing forest dynamics at the global scale using multi-source satellite imagery, including mapping and sampling, in the context of current operational versus future aspirational capabilities.
    Report - Video Recording of Seminar         
  • Challenges and solutions for merging tree mortality datasets; Würzburg, Germany; 31 March - 2 April 2020. By invitation only
  • 2019: Inaugural meeting at the IUFRO World Congress in Curitiba, Brazil.

Send comments to Henrik Hartmann (Task Force Coordinator)