• Duration: 01.01.2023 – 31.12.2025
  • : Climate change

WINALP 21 - Mountain forests fit for climate change

Short description

With 2°C warming since the beginning of measurements climate change affects the Northern Alps disproportionally and causes fundamental changes of mountain forests, which require proactive adaptation regarding the dynamics of site conditions: In order to make them fit for the 21st century we have to do the right things in the right place. The forest information systems that have been created in close cooperation between Tyrol and Bavaria are an indispensable component in the practice of forestry and an example for other regions. The goals of this project are to extend the information system to Vorarlberg, to render the climate sensitive components temperature and moisture regime dynamic and to supply guidance and best practice examples for forest owners in the program territory.

Dense stand of a mixed mountain forest with different shades of green
Mixed mountain forest on a deep flysch-sand site © Jörg Ewald
Light mixed mountain forest with recognisable dolomite rocks in the interstices
Light mixed mountain forest on a dolomite rock slope © Jörg Ewald


Outputs of WINALP 21 shall be:

  1. Dynamic models of site factors and forest types: Temperature and moisture regime are made dynamic using climate scenarios. On this basis future forest types are modelled, climate sensitive sites with maximum need for action are identified and mapped out.
  2. Multi-criteria evaluation of tree species suitability: Future risks of cultivating tree species are derived and for Bavaria effects of climate on tree growth are evaluated.
  3. Incorporating climate dynamics into practical guidance: By adding climate dynamics from outputs 1 and 2, the WINALP handbooks of forest types are developed to tools for planning and guiding adaptation to climate change.
  4. Establishment of demonstration sites: Climate sensitive example stands of important forest types are implemented in a transnational network as monitoring plots and bestpractice examples.
  5. Project communication: Results are transfered to existing information systems, advisory tools and existing initatives for adaptation. Transnational workshops, education and advanced training as well as publication propagate project results.


Project scheme with the individual work packages in a ring of circles
WINALP 21 schematic concept © HSWT

Short Description

With 2°C warming since the beginning of measurements, climate change affects the Northern Alps disproportionately and causes profound changes in mountain forests. This dynamic of site conditions must also be taken into account in forest management while preserving all ecosystem services in order to proactively adapt mountain forests in the Alps to climate change. Tree species distribution and climate change do not stop at national borders, therefore coordinated information systems must provide forest owners with practical recommendations and best practice examples for the management of mountain forests in the 21st century.


Project lead (HSWT)


External project participation


Adressierte SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)