• Description:

    Drought is increasingly impacting Europe's ecosystems, including Swedish forests. In Sweden, new research has shown that primary forests (also called old-growth and natural forests) fared better during the 2018 drought than managed forests. We do not know enough about what leads to more or less drought resistance in forests, and therefore do not know why primary forests are more drought-resistant than managed forests. Potential factors include the amount of water available in the landscape, the size and depth of tree roots, the age of the trees, biodiversity, and ground vegetation. This project will study Sweden's most natural primary forests to understand why primary forests have better drought resistance and the implications of this for carbon sequestration and biodiversity.


    Unlike other European countries, Sweden still has a considerable amount of forest that has not been affected by modern forestry, but these forests are now being logged at a rapid pace. This potentially alters a range of factors that are important for forest drought resistance. It leads to less water in the landscape due to soil drainage and changes in vegetation composition, tree size, age, and diversity. However, it is difficult to know which of these (or other) factors are most important for the drought resistance of primary forests, and thus difficult to estimate how forest management may have affected drought resistance. Ecosystems are complex, with a large number of factors and conditions varying between locations. It is therefore important to study a larger number of factors simultaneously to understand how they relate and what is the most important factor.



  • Fields

    • Ecology

    • Forestry

    • Geography

  • Qualifications

    • Master

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