Destructive Storms in European Forests:
Past and Forthcoming Impacts
Appendix 1 : European storm catalogue list on july 2010,
Appendix 2 : Report from workshop on 'Policies for forest storm damages mitigation and restauration',
Appendix 3 : Background information on 11 storms selected for detailed analysis
Appendix 4 : Measures for the management of catastrophic storm damages to forests; summaries for major storms in Europe
Appendix 5 : Forest laws in European member states
The final report for the EFI-led project on the past and future impact of storms to European forests was submitted to the European Commission Directorate-General for the Environment on 23 rd July 2010. The report consisted of a review of existing knowledge and European experience by experts in 8 countries over 9 months and included a 1-day workshop in Brussels with 37 participants including researchers, policy makers and forest practitioners.
The report has catalogued all the storms causing noteable damage to forests in the current European Union since 1950. More than 130 storms were identified and from these, 11 storms were selected for more detailed analysis.
The work shows that storms are responsible for more than 50% of all damage to European forests and on average there are 2 destructive storms in Europe each year. The average annual damaged volume is highly correlated to the volume of growing stock. Tree height, soil condition and thinning are key factors influencing damage levels but the influence of other factors such as tree species and silvicultural system are less easy to determine in an unequivocal manner.
Evidence suggests that damage levels will continue to increase with at least a doubling of damage by the end of the century if current forest management practices remain. In addition storms are predicted to affect wider areas and penetrate further east across Europe.
There is a large body of knowledge within Europe on predicting storm damage risk, managing forests to reduce risk and dealing with the aftermath of storm damage. However, this knowledge is scattered, often available only in one language, and often is forgotten or unused because of the long average period between storms in individual countries. Therefore, it is suggested that European Commission may have a role in improving this situation by:
Supporting member countries in understanding storm risk and planning for storms
Enhancing post-storm coordination between countries
Providing appropriate, easily available, and up-to-date information
Facilitating post-storm procedures
Harmonizing the integrated monitoring of damage across Europe
Considering storm risk in all relevant European regulation
This report can be also consulted on
EU website with other forest protection related studies.