Climate Change is going to adversely affect European Biodiversity

by Michael Smith (Veshengro), RFA

Climate Change and the loss of Biodiversity are the most pressing environmental problems and challenges of the twenty first century. Biodiversity and forestry will be tremendously affected by this.

In order to develop the necessary adaption strategies integrated and appropriate research is required that covers a broad spectrum of themes. We must not, under any circumstances, underestimate the possible effects of climate change on the environment and on biodiversity, especially, as said, in our woods and forests and the impact that this will have on our continued use of forest products.

The concept of the protection and retention of the biodiversity includes, aside from the mere protection of the environment and biodiversity, also the commercial use of our woodlands and forests. Therefore research into climate change and biodiversity has to be seen and understood an interdisciplinary task which also must include the socio-economic aspects and the questions as to our moral concepts and ideas.

According to calculations and prognoses based on computer modelling not only would by a warming of the climate the potentially suitable ranges for tree species like beech and pine change considerably, but this would also be the case for the rarer species and those endangered ones on the red lists. The “red list species”, according to those calculations, would be extremely hard hit due to loss of suitable areas where they can grow and thrive.

We must find ways and means to react to such a threat so as to preserve the species but also to be able to continue to commercially use timber and other products from our woods and forests even during this probable climate change.

© M Smith (Veshengro), Tatchipen Media & EcoFor, April 2008