Risks and opportunities for forestry

Switzerland's present-day forests are only limitedly adapted to heat and drought and exposed to an increasing risk of natural events and forest fires. This has a negative impact on its economic, social and environmental services. In comparison, the positive impacts of climate change on the forest are less significant.

Natürliche Laubmischwälder neben gepflanzten Nadelholzbeständen

Legend:

[R] Risks of climate change
[C] Opportunities due to climate change
[?] Areas for which a clear assessment is not yet possible

[R] Impairment of forest services

  • As a result of drought, pest infestation, forest fire and increasing natural events (especially rock fall, rockslides, debris flows) diminished wood production and quality, weakened protective effect, reduced recovery function,
  • Release large quantities of CO2 due to the destruction of wood stocks

[R] Decreased wood production in forestry

  • Increased damage to young trees due to heat
  • Increased damage due to periods of increased concentration of air pollutants

[R] Rising risk of forest fires

  • More frequent scarcity of water during periods of drought  

 [C] Positive effects on the forestry

  • Increased yields thanks to rising mean temperatures and a longer growth period
  • Decreasing damage due to snow pressure

[?] Uncertain impacts

  • Increase or decrease of storm damage to forests and the associated consequences for the forestry and forest products and services

Last modification 31.01.2019

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Federal Office for the Environment FOEN
Reporting and Adaptation Section

Papiermühlestr. 172
3063 Ittigen

climate-adaptation@bafu.admin.ch
www.bafu.ch

Print contact

Priority themes: Forest functions and climate change

Climate change affects the forest functions, forest health, the distribution of tree species and the forest as carbon sink.

https://www.nccs.admin.ch/content/nccs/en/home/sektoren/waldwirtschaft/risiken-und-chancen.html