Sustainable use and management of non native trees in the alpine region

Newspaper publication in the slovenian forestry professional journal, March 2022

The article presents the opinions and knowledge about non-native tree species (NNT) of the stakeholders who get in contact with NNT at their work in the forest, urban, and peri-urban areas in Slovenia. We obtained the opinions through an online survey in 2020; it took place in the framework of the ALPTREES project and was a part of the research in each of the five partner countries (Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Italy, and France) in the alpine space. We analyzed Slovenian stakeholders responses to obtain information on the stakeholders’ knowledge, understanding, and approach to NNT.

Through an online survey, we obtained responses from 120 individuals. Analyzing the answers, we found that the majority of the respondents recognize NNT and invasive non-native tree species (INNT) in Slovenia. Generally, the respondents believe NNT bring risk into the alpine space. The respondents considered black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), northern red oak (Quercus rubra), and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) to be the most widespread species. They place black locust, tree of heaven, princess tree, staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), and boxelder (Acer negundo) among the most invasive ones. Just under half of the respondents expressed moderate concern about the impact of INNT, a quarter of the respondents was very concerned about NNT.


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D.T3.3.1 The Usage Value of Non Native Trees - Alptrees Timber Report

Although NNT products are already widely used in Europe, they have not received attention in the New EU Forestry Strategy agenda. Accordingly, the ALPTREES project has the merit of promoting the added value of NNTs for Europe´s forests and related value chains. The authors also open the debate on the existing and potential markets of NNT assortments and create more confidence in their current and future use. The document can be seen as a first attempt to raise awareness among customers and decision makers about the use of NNT wood. In a compact format, the report summarizes the practical scientific findings on the most important NNT species for the timber market. The report also provides a preliminary outlook on the economic value of NNTs wood products along the timber value chains of some Alpine countries. Furthermore, it illustrates in a simple and intuitive way some valuable experiences made by companies active in the Alpine Space.


RIO JOURNAL - A transnational cooperation for sustainable use and management of non-native trees in urban, peri-urban and forest ecosystems in the Alpine region (ALPTREES)

The expected benefits and potential risks of non-native tree species (NNT) to European geographic regions have polarized the opinions of experts and citizens. Benefits include climate change (CC) mitigation and adaptation, contributions to bioeconomy, urban and peri-urban green infrastructure and mitigation of natural hazards. However, NNT may become invasive and thus may pose risks to native biodiversity, ecosystem functioning or socio-economy. In critical and vulnerable ecosystems such as the Alpine Space (AS), such risks and benefits must be carefully considered before management decisions are made. Experiences in the management of NNT in urban areas, peri-urban, rural territories and forests are often region- or city-specific and rarely shared. Given the challenges in NNT management with respect to both benefits and risks, an European transnational approach is needed to qualify the role of NNT in future AS ecosystems. The objective is to provide a transnational strategy for a responsible use and sustainable management of NNT in the AS with the help of an integrated Decision Support System. The project fits within the context of national and regional site-derived policy aiming at protecting and enhancing biodiversity to ensure ecological connectivity and cultural resources while maintaining a high level of resilience and ecosystem services across the AS.

D.T4.1.2. Book of Abstract – First transnational Stakeholder Conference 2020