The scientific objectives of the project are to:
- Assess the impact of climate change on tree species assemblages and particularly to better understand the effect of climate conditions on the ecological processes that shape tree species composition such as competition or facilitation, resistance and resilience to pest or pathogen outbreaks.
- Evaluate the effect of climate change on tree mycorrhiza, pest herbivores, their natural enemies and fungal or oomycete pathogens. In particular the objective is to focus on response variables to climate change that are both relevant to forest biodiversity and functioning: species composition and population attributes such as abundance and spatial distribution.
- Determine the role played by biodiversity in the performance of forests in terms of net primary production i.e. difference between biomass production by trees and biomass consumption or degradation by herbivores and pathogens. More specifically the objective is to disentangle the respective roles played by the richness (how many species?), the functional diversity (how dissimilar are they?), and the composition (which are they?) of tree species in the functioning of mixed forests.
- Rate the risk of forest productivity loss under climate change scenarios by designing, developing and implementing conceptual models that will loop the loop; i.e. will relate the vulnerability of forest functioning to forest composition.
The technological objectives of BACCARA are to:
- Rank the risk of species loss or changes in proportion in the main European forest categories according to their composition
- Give recommendations on tree species composition in order to optimise forest net productivity
- Provide guidelines for the construction of user friendly abacuses ranking the risk of loss in forest biomass productivity according to forest tree composition in the main European biogeographical zones.
- Design, develop and implement a decision-support system aimed at balancing costs and benefits for the establishment of new forest composition in order to anticipate and mitigate the potential detrimental effects of climate changes on forest productivity.