Heinz Röhle


In 2017, the global population stands at about 7.6 billion. Due to the medium variant of the population projections, developed by the UN, the world population will grow to nearly 10 billion by the middle of this century. As a consequence, the worldwide demand for wood will increase. Therefore, the forest sector has to develop concepts in order to cope with the increasing demand for wood, the altering environmental conditions and the challenge of climate change.
Modified silvicultural treatment programs may contribute to solving these questions. Appropriate measures are the conversion of pure stands into mixed stands, the promotion of natural regeneration instead of artificial regeneration and the creation of structured forests consisting of indigenous or foreign tree species, which are better adapted to climate change and/or are growing faster. Mixed stands often exceed the volume as well as the biomass productivity of pure stands and increase the biodiversity of forest landscapes.
Forest simulation models are a prerequisite for the management of mixed stands. They provide enhanced opportunities of planning for forest conversion and facilitate the decision support in forest practice. These model approaches support the development of goal oriented thinning programs and make it possible to test and optimize alternative silvicultural concepts without the establishment of experimental plots. The Bavarian State Forest Enterprise (Bayerische Staatsforsten) is managing 808731 ha of forest area in the southern part of Germany. Since 2005 this enterprise is converting pure, coniferous stands (> 200000 ha of forest area) into mixed, uneven-aged forests. A simulation program (single tree simulator) is used in order to achieve this goal.

Keywords: Forest conversion, mixed stands, single tree simulators

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