Projects archive

Measures to increase resilience of Norway spruce forests against impact of climatic changes
Leader: Endijs Bāders
Start date: 1.9.2017
End date: 31.8.2020

European Regional Development Fund project (No.
Operational Programme "Growth and Employment".
Specific aid objective 1.1.1 "To increase the research and innovative capacity of scientific institutions of Latvia and the ability to attract external financing, investing in human resources and infrastructure".
Activity "Post-doctoral Research Aid".


The research has planned and implemented as experimental multidisciplinary applied studies that combine aspects of forestry, forest ecology and genetics aiming to provide deeper understanding on the potential to improve resilience of forest stands at the landscape level. The aim of this study is to assess the landscape-level resilience of spruce-dominated forest massive and develop recommendations for its increase, focusing on the most significant damage agents: storms and dendrophagous insects.

The research will contribute to one of the most significant aspects of knowledge-based bio economy in Latvia – forestry, thus conforming to the national aims of the RIS 3. The results of the research would contribute to present forest management, promoting its sustainability and long term availability of the raw material for already established and new industries. Among the main methods, analysis of remote sensing (satellite images) data from different time periods and forest inventory data to determine both the extent of the damages causes by particular disturbance at forest landscape scale as well as the recovery of the stands both naturally and if management is applied was used. Also genetic diversity has tested using traditional techniques in comparison between the stands with different origins and age.

First activity – assessment of landscape level impact of storm and factors important for resilience – has been implemented according to plan; the data has been collected, processed and published in the open access journal Forests (2 publications – about carbon pools and a potential factor increasing the impact of storms – stem cracks). Networking was realized by visiting prof. K. Jogiste at Estonian University of Life Sciences in Tartu, resulting in deeper understanding of the influence of management history on hemiboreal forest ecosystems in the Baltic States and role of ecosystem legacies.

Second activity – assessment of landscape level impact of insect outbreak and factors important for resilience – also has been implemented in accordance to plan. The landscapes with spruce dominated stands affected by Physokermes has been selected and analyzed. Firstly, by consulting with the laboratory of Forest entomology at the LSFRI Silava has interpreted the results. Results have published in the open access journal Forests (publication – about the effects of landscape heterogeneity on the damage caused by Physokermes).

Third activity – assessment of spatial distribution of genetic diversity in relation to resilience – has been implemented in accordance to plan. During the interim period the material was collected, skills have developed learning the method and technique at the lab-work: DNA extraction done and analysis of the results started. The results will characterize the genetic diversity in managed vs un-managed, semi-natural Norway spruce stands.

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