General objective

Over the last decade regional and / or national research programmes regarding conversion and sustainable management of coniferous forests were launched ‑ and partly concluded ‑ in some European countries. Since there are many European countries with a considerable ratio of secondary coniferous forests and/or where conversion is recognized as a challenge, lack of co-ordination will result in redundancy of efforts and a fragmentation of resources. Networking will ensure that research work is carried out in a synergistic way. As conversion also affects the economic results of forestry, wood supply and various other goods and services, which forest ecosystems provide to society, networking across Europe is required in order to pool expertise from all relevant forestry disciplines. ConForest intends to combine know-how and research with subsequent integrated analyses, upscaling of results to the European level, and dissemination to all stakeholders in Europe.

The main objective of ConForest is an integrated evaluation of conversion strategies for secondary coniferous forests with respect to the ecological, economic and social goals of forestry. Conversion in this context means the introduction of additional species and / or the gradual change of vertical structure. This process aims to reduce risks for damage as well as to improve sustainability of forests and their multifunctional use on the European level.

Specific objectives

To achieve the overall objective of ConForest, the following subordinate objectives will be pursued:

Expected main benefits:

The following conclusive output will result from ConForest’s activities:

ConForest may provide an information base for an upgraded superior practice in the management of secondary coniferous forests, reducing ecological and economic risks by proper assessment of conversion necessity and improve implementation of conversion projects.