The influence of climate changes on Central European forests with an emphasis on Slovenia
J Gričar, L Krajnc, M Westergren, S Rus, H Kraigher
When forests are managed sustainably, they play an essential role in protecting climate and biodiversity. They protect soils and water resources, provide livelihoods, and contribute to the well-being of rural and urban communities. European forests are multifunctional and provide a range of ecosystem services. These include the production of renewable materials that can replace materials with a larger environmental footprint, thus also contributing to climate neutrality and overall sustainability. Forestry is one of the key sectors capable of reducing dependence on non-renewable resources, mitigating climate change, and thus enabling the transition to a circular bioeconomy. At the same time, forest ecosystems worldwide face a number of threats that are exacerbated by climate change. Global warming will affect future species distribution, timber supply and wood properties (quality). Conservation and management of forest genetic resources, the base of forest biodiversity and productivity, is an essential component of sustainable forestry. In addition, sustainable forestry requires a constant and efficient supply of high-quality seed and seedlings of forest trees. With a high share of forest cover and abundant natural resources, Slovenia shows great potential for transition into a circular bioeconomy. Due to the impact of climate change, recognition of the importance of biodiversity and the concepts of sustainable forest management, changes in the species composition of Slovenian forests are expected in the near future, which will be reflected in a higher proportion of deciduous tree species, affecting all actors in the forest-wood value chain. This paper aims to highlight up-to-date facts about the state of forests in Europe, forests and forestry in Slovenia, the importance of sustainable forest management for forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation, the role of forest genetic resources and provision of tree seeds and seedlings for sustainable forest development.