ALTERFOR explores the potential to optimize forest management models currently in use in different forested areas in European countries. The international consortium of scientists and forestry practitioners will examine alternative forest management models in ten case study areas. Each area represents different forest management practices and socio-ecological conditions across Europe.  

ALTERFOR is a large-scale, collaborative research project funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme, coordinated by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and involves twenty organisations from nine countries. 

The main objective of ALTERFOR is to provide improved and new approaches in forest management that are robust enough to address the challenges of the 21st century. These challenges range from uncertainties of climate change and the complex dynamics of evolving global markets to the pressures for increased use of bioenergy.

To achieve this, ALTERFOR researchers will:

  • examine alternative forest management models (FMMs) that are robust in their capacity to deliver ecosystem services and reduce socio-ecological risks
  • assess the impact of different FMMs in terms of resultant combinations of ecosystem services  on the European and landscape level
  • facilitate the implementation of desired FMMs in different case study areas in Europe and thereby improve cross-national knowledge transfer regarding their benefits, costs, management, and utilization 

ALTERFOR will engage actors from forest sector in Central (Austria, Germany, Netherlands), Northern (Sweden), Mediterranean (France, Italy, Portugal, Turkey), Eastern (Lithuania, Slovakia) and Atlantic regions (Ireland) to ensure broad Pan-European representation. 

ALTERFOR will genuinely adopt the multi-actor approach and span multiple geographic scales. Researchers, forestry practitioners and other local stakeholders will closely collaborate on the case study areas in order to develop relevant FMMs, and ensure their efficient implementation. The combined effects of local and national FMMs will be evaluated on the European scale, enabling outcomes to be directly applicable to high-level decision-making. 

IIASA will be involved in WP2 - Global analyses, assessing the demand for products and land use pressure within the various landscapes due to different Global and European future scenario developments. A number of likely future prospective scenarios will be created, which will provide the Global and European framework conditions for the FMMs at the landscape level (WP 1). In addition to this, WP2 will assess the value of national adaptation to the tailored FMMs (WP 3) across land use sectors (forest, agricultural, livestock) and borders (national, regional, EU, global). 

IIASA will produce Impact assessments of FMM for the forest sector, across sectors, across ES (scientific papers) and Synthesis paper on impact assessments of FMM.

Group_Foto_ALTERFOR_Kick-Off © ALTERFOR 2019


Nordström, E.-M., Nieuwenhuis, M., Başkent, E., Biber, P., Black, K., Borges, J.G., Bugalho, M., Corradini, G., Corrigan, E., Eriksson, L., Felton, A., Forsell, N., Hengeveld, G., Hoogstra-Klein, M., Korosuo, A., Lindbladh, M., Lodin, I., Lundholm, A., Marto, M., Masiero, M., Mozgeris, G., Pettenella, D., Poschenrieder, W., Sedmak, R., Tucek, J., & Zoccatelli, D. (2019). Forest decision support systems for the analysis of ecosystem services provisioning at the landscape scale under global climate and market change scenarios. European Journal of Forest Research 138 (4) 561-581. 10.1007/s10342-019-01189-z.