Agrar – Freiburg im Breisgau – 150 years of forest research: “Warning signals are red” – Economy

Freiburg (dpa / lsw) – In view of the far-reaching drought, the director of the Forestry Research and Testing Institute (FVA) Baden-Württemberg sees the Black Forest in danger. “The warning signals are red,” said Ulrich Schraml of the “Badische Zeitung” (Friday).

Trees get problems because of successive stress factors, said the expert. “First the trees are damaged by the high temperatures or the drought. Then other organisms such as fungi or insects follow,” explained Schraml. “Then it builds up. If we got another dry year now, that would be a special challenge.”

Trees can definitely defend themselves against shorter periods of heat and then, for example, shed leaves or roll them up, as the FVA director explained. “We are just learning that trees can also protect themselves in the medium term. They have a kind of memory,” Schraml told the newspaper. “A tree that has experienced stress such as a drought may react more quickly the following year.” It’s a kind of adjustment mechanism. “But if the extremes increase as quickly as we have experienced in recent years, then the trees alone are overwhelmed.”

The FVA had invited to celebrate its 150th anniversary on Friday – with the Faculty for Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Freiburg and its Institute for Forest Sciences as partners, which turned 100 two years ago.

“Like two pieces of a puzzle, the FVA and the forestry faculty fit together with their respective competencies and strengths and make the forestry research location of Freiburg a beacon,” said Schraml according to the announcement. Thousands of graduates from all continents have been trained in the 100 years, said the Dean of the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Heiner Schanz. “The skills imparted in Freiburg shape the exploration, protection and care of forests worldwide.”

As a research institution of the state forest administration, the FVA is responsible for the forest and forestry in Baden-Württemberg. Her work includes research on climate impacts, biodiversity and genetics as well as the digital transformation of forest use, i.e. data collection and processing, for example.

According to the announcement, Forest Minister Peter Hauk (CDU) emphasized the importance of the long-term data series from many systematic forest observations. These created an important basis for the challenges faced by forests, forest owners and politicians. The FVA maintains more than 1000 test areas and, with around 360 employees, is now researching all aspects of the forest – from the soil to the fauna and the trees to the people and their needs.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220624-99-781220/3

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