Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

The Management Response to Wind Disturbances in European Forests

de Carcer, Paula Sangines; Mederski, Piotr S.; Magagnotti, Natascia; Spinelli, Raffaele; Engler, Benjamin; Seidl, Rupert; Eriksson, Andreas; Eggers, Jeannette; Bont, Leo Gallus; Schweier, Janine


Purpose of the Review The review synthesises the current knowledge of post-windstorm management in selected European countries in order to identify knowledge gaps and guide future research. Recent Findings Despite the differences in forest ownership and national regulations, management experiences in Europe converge at (1) the need for mechanization of post-windthrow management to ensure operator safety, (2) the importance to promote operator training and optimise the coordination between all the actors involved in disturbance management and (3) the need to implement measures to consolidate the timber market while restoring forest ecosystem services and maintain biodiversity. Windstorms are natural disturbances that drive forest dynamics but also result in socio-economic losses. As the frequency and magnitude of wind disturbances will likely increase in the future, improved disturbance management is needed. We here highlight the best practices and remaining challenges regarding the strategic, operational, economic and environmental dimensions of post-windthrow management in Europe. Our literature review underlined that post-disturbance management needs to be tailored to each individual situation, taking into account the type of forest, site conditions, available resources and respective legislations. The perspectives on windthrown timber differ throughout Europe, ranging from leaving trees on site to storing them in sophisticated wet storage facilities. Salvage logging is considered important in forests susceptible to bark beetle outbreaks, while no salvage logging is recommended in forests protecting against natural hazards. Remaining research gaps include questions of balancing between the positive and negative effects of salvage logging and integrating climate change considerations more explicitly in post-windthrow management.


Storm; Salvage logging; Strategy; Storage; Safety; Biodiversity

Published in

Current Forestry Reports
2021, Volume: 7, number: 4, pages: 167-180