Towards robust projections of European forests under climate change (PROFOUND)
Rationale and aims
Changes in climate, environment and management are altering the world’s ecosystems. Forests are of particular importance in this context due to the significant economic, ecological and cultural services they provide. Projecting changes of these services for the next decades is crucial for a concerted European response to environmental change.
There are a number of challenges to meet. Mechanistic forest models that can be extrapolated to new environmental conditions are still associated with considerable predictive uncertainty. The reasons are the lack of harmonized datasets at larger scales and the difficulty to obtain robust methods for parameterisation, evaluation and model comparison that make optimal use of the range of available data types and sources.
PROFOUND addresses these problems by: 1) suggesting ways to harmonize and integrate European forest data for model projections 2) comparing forest modelling approaches in terms of scale, processes captured, data requirements and predictive uncertainty 3) developing standards for (Bayesian) model parameterisation, calibration, evaluation and comparison, and 4) facilitating probabilistic multi-model projections under climatic change.
As a result, PROFOUND will strengthen the integration of forest modellers and data-providing experts across Europe and provide more reliable information about the uncertainty of model predictions to decision makers.