If there is no large-scale drought in 2021, it will effectively reduce forest damage caused by bark beetles in Central Europe.
Under this premise, the preliminary forecast is that the amount of damaged wood in Germany is expected to be reduced to 39.6 million cubic meters, including 35.1 million cubic meters of softwood and 4.5 million cubic meters of hardwood.
Compared with the nearly 66.2 million cubic meters of damaged timber in 2020 after the recent adjustment, this figure has dropped by 40%, and nearly 26.6 million cubic meters of timber will be prevented from being felled due to damage by bark beetles.
Therefore, it is predicted that during the four-year period from 2018 to 2021, the total amount of damaged wood in Germany will reach 210.2 million cubic meters, of which 191.5 million cubic meters of softwood and 18.7 million cubic meters of hardwood. This year, the area requiring reforestation due to biological and non-biological destruction is estimated to be 75,700 hectares. Together with the afforestation of 138,300 hectares in 2020 and 139,000 hectares in 2019, this will bring the total afforestation area in Germany to approximately 353,000 hectares in the past three years.
The above forecast is based on the survey results of the quantity of damaged timber conducted by the German Ministry of Agriculture in the states of the country as of January 31, 2020, and the survey results of the first damaged timber forecast in 2021. Of course, this prediction is based on an optimistic assumption that sufficient rainfall this year will help increase the resistance of trees to pests. However, considering the worst-case scenario, that is, due to the high initial population of bark beetles, starting from April, the pest intensity in most parts of Germany will remain high.
In 2020, there will be about 1.532 million cubic meters of pests in Switzerland, an increase of 3% over 2019. According to the data released by the Swiss Federal Forest Research Institute (WSL) on temporary felling due to bark beetle damage, the growth rate of pest wood is only 3%, which is a sharp decline compared to the 153.82% growth rate in the previous two years.
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