LIFE AFORCLIMATE - Adaptation of FORest management to CLIMATE variability: an ecological approach - AForClimate

LIFE15 CCA/IT/000089

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Contact details:

Contact person: Ugo CHIAVETTA
Tel: 390575353021
Fax: 390575353490
Email: ugo.chiavetta@crea.gov.it

Project description:


Climate change is known to influence forest tree growth response and the CO2 cycle. Dendroclimatological research has shown that the climate signal, species composition, and growth trends have changed in different types of forest ecosystems during the last century. Under current and demonstrated changes in climate variability at geographic, regional, and local levels tree growth shows variability and trends that can be non-stationary over time even at relatively short distance between sites.

In forest planning and management, yield tables, site quality indices, age class, rate of growth, and spatial distribution are some of the most used tools and parameters. However, these methods do not involve climate variability over time although climate is the main driver in trends of forest and tree growth. For example, changing climate conditions may impact on temperature and/or precipitation thresholds critical to forest tree growth. Forest biomass, resilience, and CO2 storage may be damaged unless forest planning and management implement the relationships between climate variability and trends of tree growth.

Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) is an economically and ecologically important tree species. There are some 15 million ha of beech forests in Europe, primarily in mountainous areas of central and southern Europe (the species is found from sea level up to 1 800 m).

The beech forests with the highest biodiversity in the EU are located in the Apennines mountain range in central Italy, including examples of two habitats listed as priority for conservation in the annexes of the EU Habitats Directive - 9210 - Apennine beech forests with Taxus and Ilex; and 9220 - Apennine beech forests with Abies alba and beech forests with Abies nebrodensis.

Currently, Italian beech forests are mainly stored coppices (i.e. stands left growing beyond the customary coppice rotation), representing 89% of the whole coppice area in Italy, as well as managed coppices in transition to high forest, occupying about 150 000 ha.


The general objective of the LIFE AFORCLIMATE project is to maintain and improve the efficiency of the beech forest ecosystem in the Apennines, through effective forest management that is adapted to climate change.

To achieve this objective, the project will define a method for measuring likely impacts of climatic factors so as to manage beech forests in ways that promote forest regeneration and seed production and ensure resilience.

The project aims to achieve biomass increases (and therefore CO2 sequestration) of 5-7% to 15-20% compared to the reference value deriving from the application of the traditional approach. This will also increase overall ecosystem functionality.

Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results:

  • To make forest management in the project areas actions consistent with adaptation to climate change;
  • To create a detailed forecast model for forestry management that takes climate change variability into account;
  • To develop a monitoring scheme to assess, by the end of the project, the impacts of the approach to forest management in terms of regeneration capacity, production capacity and biodiversity. This scheme will take into consideration the entire ecosystem of beech forest and all components essential for appropriate forest management; and
  • To develop an extensive information campaign complying with the second objective of the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change: promoting better informed decision-making by addressing gaps in knowledge about adaptation and further developing the European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT) as the one-stop shop for adaptation information in Europe.

  • Results


Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Adaptation - Natural resources and ecosystems


decision making support‚  forest management

Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2013)216 - EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)
  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The Centro di Ricerca per la Selvicoltura (CREA-SEL) in Arezzo, Italy, is a forestry research institute that acts at national level in the field of applied research and provides scientific support to public and private bodies. CREA-SEL has participated in eight LIFE projects since 2007.
Partners Unione Montana dei Comuni del Mugello, Italy Regione Molise, Italy REGIONE SICILIANA - Assessorato Regionale dell’Agricoltura dello Sviluppo rurale e della Pesca Mediterranea, Italy D.R.E.AM. Italia società cooperativa agricolo forestale, Italy Compagnia delle Foreste s.r.l., Italy Università degli Studi del Molise, Italy


Project reference LIFE15 CCA/IT/000089
Duration 01-SEP-2016 to 31-DEC -2023
Total budget 2,386,250.00 €
EU contribution 1,431,063.00 €
Project location Toscana(Italia) Molise(Italia) Sicilia(Italia)


Read more:

Brochure "AFORCLIMATE: Come adattare la gestione forestale alla variabilità climatica" (968 KB)
Poster "AFORCLIMATE: Il metodo" (652 KB)
Poster "Programmare la selvicoltura in base alla variabil ...
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 "AForClimate - intervista ai partner del Progetto" (Youtube, 3:07)
Publication: Article-Paper "Il Progetto LIFE AForClimate: Variabilità climati ...
Video link Adattare la gestione forestale al cambiamento climatico [IT -6'56] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mut-myJVXhc&feature=youtu.be


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version