Despite rain: tree loss continues
July 27, 2020
The expertise of Dr Henrik Hartmann, group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, is currently in great demand. The passionate forester and habilitated plant ecologist has been intensively involved with tree death for more than ten years. He also observes with concern the development of our native forest stands, which are literally collapsing under the effects of heat, drought, pests and a sinking groundwater level. "It is not only spruce that is dying, beech and ash stands are also affected and the general condition of many trees is alarmingly bad," says Hartmann. The dying process that has once started cannot be stopped, not even by the current rainfall. And reforestation without knowing how robust individual tree species are in the face of climate change can lead to undesired results. "I therefore plead for the establishment of a virtual institute for forest reconstruction in Thuringia, which can also set priorities for future-oriented reforestation throughout Germany".
Dying pines in the area around Jena. The deep drying of the soil is now causing even deep-rooted trees like the Scots pine to die. (Copyright MPI-BGC)
The ecologist Hartmann has been involved in the International Tree Mortality Network (https://www.tree-mortality.net/) for more than ten years and coordinates the working group "Monitoring global tree mortality patterns and trends" of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO, https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/tree-mortality-patterns/).
In various interviews, Dr. Hartmann shares his research findings and considerations with a broader public in an understandable way.
You can access the articles under the links below.
Dr. Henrik Hartmann
MDR television report (in German)
WDR radio feature (in German)
Publication in Spiegel online (in German)