Forest Ecology and - Management

  • Gaverstraat 4

    9500 Geraardsbergen


Organisation profile

Organisation profile

The team Forest Ecology and Management studies natural processes and interactions in forest ecosystems, and the effects of forest management hereupon. Emphasis is on long-term research and monitoring. Also scientific advisory work on forest policy and management (e.g. on conservation status and management of Natura2000 forest habitats) makes up an important part of the task.

Main topics of the long-term research are:

  • the monitoring of spontaneous forest development in unmanaged forests (strict forest reserve monitoring)
  • research on the development of herb layer in forests, in relation to former land use, tree species and management
  • distribution and population development of difficult-to-perceive forest-related species, in particular deadwood species (including saproxylic beetles listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive) and this in relation to forest development
  • research into effects of climate change on the functioning of forest ecosystems, e.g. by means of time series on phenology and seed production of oak and beech, development and competitive relationship between tree species in unmanaged forests, ...

In addition, policy-supporting and applied research is carried out on specific technical aspects of forest management (e.g. spatial aspects and practical realization of expansion and quality improvement of Natura2000 forest habitats, decision support system for increased biomass harvesting in forests, developing management trajectories for forests, etc.)

In addition to scientific publications, the knowledge gained is also communicated to local target audiences of forest managers and policy through scientific advisory reports, presentations on seminars and workshops, and - specifically for forest reserves - the ‘Bosreservatennieuwsbrief’ (Forest Reserves Newsletter)


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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