Type of project


Project status


Implementation period

01.01.2009 - 31.12.2012

Contract number

Source of funding

Financing amount


Coordinator / leading department

Project supervisor

Project description

Biodiversity And Climate Change – A Risk Analysis
BACCARA is a Small-scale integrating collaborative project) under the 7. Framework Programme, Research theme ‘Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology’.

Project goals

The scientific objectives of the project are to:

  • Assess the impact of climate change on tree species assemblages and particularly to better understand the effect of climate conditions on the ecological processes that shape tree species composition such as competition or facilitation, resistance and resilience to pest or pathogen outbreaks.
  • Evaluate the effect of climate change on tree mycorrhiza, pest herbivores, their natural enemies and fungal or oomycete pathogens. In particular the objective is to focus on response variables to climate change that are both relevant to forest biodiversity and functioning: species composition and population attributes such as abundance and spatial distribution.
  • Determine the role played by biodiversity in the performance of forests in terms of net primary production i.e. difference between biomass production by trees and biomass consumption or degradation by herbivores and pathogens. More specifically the objective is to disentangle the respective roles played by the richness (how many species?), the functional diversity (how dissimilar are they?), and the composition (which are they?) of tree species in the functioning of mixed forests.
  • Rate the risk of forest productivity loss under climate change scenarios by designing, developing and implementing conceptual models that will loop the loop; i.e. will relate the vulnerability of forest functioning to forest composition.
    The technological objectives of BACCARA are to:
  • Rank the risk of species loss or changes in proportion in the main European forest categories according to their composition
  • Give recommendations on tree species composition in order to optimise forest net productivity
  • Provide guidelines for the construction of user friendly abacuses ranking the risk of loss in forest biomass productivity according to forest tree composition in the main European biogeographical zones.
  • Design, develop and implement a decision-support system aimed at balancing costs and benefits for the establishment of new forest composition in order to anticipate and mitigate the potential detrimental effects of climate changes on forest productivity.

Characteristics of the project

The concept of BACCARA is to construct a three-dimensional risk assessment model linking climate change, functional diversity, and forest productivity. It will be built up using the following three steps of deductive reasoning:

  • The effect of climate change on forest biodiversity will be evaluated through better understanding of the ecological processes that shape species composition and are particularly sensitive to climate conditions. Forest species composition will be determined as the assemblage of tree species and both mutualistic and antagonistic species that drive tree species composition. Climate conditions will include both average and extreme values of climatic variables (e.g. temperature, humidity and wind).
  • The relationships between forest biodiversity and functioning will be deciphered through better understanding of the respective role of tree species richness and composition and by focussing on the biotic interactions between species. Energy flows (i.e. resource production and consumption) across different trophic levels (trees and mutualists as producers, herbivores and pathogens as consumers) will be analysed since the fundamental ecological hypothesis behind the diversity–productivity relationship is the optimal use of resources.
  • The information will eventually be aggregated to predict the effect of climate change on forest productivity through changes in tree species composition. The prediction will be expressed as a risk of forest productivity loss, considered as a function of climate change scenario probability, susceptibility of forest to climate change according to its composition, and forest biomass productivity according to its composition.

In each step, we will focus on fundamental ecological processes at work to deliver more generic scientific outcomes enabling easier generalization to diverse types of European forest and forest manager expectations than found in a case by case approach.

Scope of IBL participation

Forest Research Institute participates in the project by carried on works in following Workpackages:

Workpackage 1 – Tree diversity response to climate change

Workpackage 2 – Three-associated species response to climate change

Workpackage 3 – Effects of forest biodiversity on ecosystem functioning

Project contractors

doc. dr hab. Wojciech Grodzki (coordinator)

dr inż. Sławomir Ambroży

doc. dr hab. Jacek Hilszczański

dr inż. Anna Żółciak

dr inż. Wojciech Gil

dr inż. Dorota Hilszczańska


Role* No Participant name Short name Country
K 1 Institut national de la recherche agronomique INRA France
P 2 Alterra BV ALT Wageningen, Netherlands
P 3 CAB International
(CABI Europe – Switzerland)
CABI United Kingom (Délémont, Switzerland)
P 4 Centre national du machinisme agricole, du génie rural et des eaux et forêts Cemagref Grenoble, France
P 5 Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas CSIC Madrid, Spain
P 6 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich ETHZ Switzerland, Zürich
P 7 INRA Transfert IT Paris, France
P 8 Instytut Badawczy Leśnictwa BL Sękocin Stary, Polska
P 9 Peking University PKU Peking, China
P 10 Royal Holloway and Bedford New College RHUL London, United Kingom
P 11 Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet SLU Uppsala, Sweden
P 12 Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Viterbo UNITUS Viterbo, Italy
P 13 Università di Padova UPAD Padowa, Italy
P 14 Universität Zürich UZH Switzerland, Zürich
P 15 University of Aberdeen UNIABDN Aberdeen, United Kingom
P 16 Albert-Ludwigs – Universität Freiburg ALU-FR Freiburg, Germany

*K – koordynator, P – partner


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