This study compiles and summarizes the existing knowledge about observed and projected impacts of climate change on forests in Europe and reviews options for forests and forestry to adapt to climate change. It has been commissioned by the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission as an initial exploration of this complex issue. Forests are particularly sensitive to climate change, because the long life-span of trees does not allow for rapid adaptation to environmental changes. Adaptation measures for forestry need to be planned well in advance of expected changes in growing conditions because the forests regenerated today will have to cope with the future climate conditions of at least several decades, often even more than 100 years.
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