Thesis subject

Climate change impacts on ecosystem services provided by forests

The Environmental Systems Analysis Group provides the possibility for students to do their thesis in collaboration with our group. This is one of many possible thesis subjects. Please feel free to contact Dr Le Clec’h or Dr Nuñez Ramos (right) for more information.

The importance and value of ecosystem services (ES) are widely recognized and these services are increasingly being used for the valuation of diverse ecosystems. Forests provide a large range of ES, including climate regulation. However, climate change negatively affects and will increasingly affect the provision of various ecosystem services.

Despite a growing literature on climate change impacts on ecosystem services, very few studies focus on climate change impacts on ES provided by forests. Hence, we lack an overarching understanding of the impacts of climate change, how they are being assessed, and what the extent is to which other drivers, uncertainties, and decision making are incorporated. In this thesis, we propose to 1) systematically review the peer-reviewed literature that assesses climate change impacts on forest structure and composition and ecosystem services provided by forests at several spatial levels, considering forest diversity (across forest types, density and management) and 2) assess the magnitude of expected changes of ecosystem services provision to climate change.

Our results have a strong policy and social implications. Identifying gaps could help to target further studies to better understand ES provided by forest. Estimating the general value of the forest across the world would increase the social awareness to participate in the protection and/or the sustainable use of the forests. It could also help to target areas to implement specific environmental policies.

Start time: t.b.d.