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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Around two thirds of the total forest biomass in the EU and UK is potentially vulnerable to natural disturbances, including windstorms, forest fires and insect outbreaks. Global warming is likely to increase natural disturbances, especially those from fires and insect outbreaks that are more sensitive to climate.
As a result, key forest ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, erosion control, water regulation or wood supply, could be seriously affected. Sustainable forest management strategies are of paramount importance to enhance the resilience of these fundamental elements of the European landscape.
Figure: Current forest vulnerability to major natural disturbances, expressed as the share (%) of biomass that would be lost in case of a disturbance. Areas with forest cover fraction lower than 10% are shaded grey.