One of the main climate change-related risks that forests face, particularly in southern Europe, is the increased recurrence, duration and intensity of droughts. Longer and more intense heat waves, associated with a lack of precipitation, result in the weakening or even death of large forest areas.
At LIFE RedBosques_Clima we propose a procedure to assess drought risk quantitatively, based on a series of indicators that assess climatic exposure to drought, climatic and topographic suitability according to geographical position, and vulnerability, based on the attributes of forest structure and composition that provide greater resilience, such as:
- The greatest diversity of tree species, with different and complementary functional attributes,
- The coexistence of trees of different ages and sizes,
- The ability to resprout or regenerate.
The index enables the risk assessment of any given forest, and to possibility to identify areas where adaptive capacity can be improved through appropriate management.
A description of the complete procedure and the results of the comparison can be accessed in the guidelines: