Photo by Leonhard Steinacker – Mixed forest consisting of beech, Douglas fir and spruce

Mixed forest consisting of beech, Douglas fir and spruce.

Photo by Leonhard Steinacker


Drought resistance and growth stability of trees and stand in dependence of species identity, stand density and structure

Project description

Climate change is posing a threat to the forest. Thus, forest disturbances such as insect outbreaks, wildfires, and storms, etc. are expected to become more common. Such disturbances can wreak havoc on forest production and tree species' resilience, causing species to shift their ranges, die off, and diminish or change their distribution around the world. Forests, on the other hand, may rebound from disturbances, however, the long-term repercussions are still unknown. Therefore, The ETN Skill-For.Action project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Innovative Training Network) is to provide a group of Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) (12 fully funded positions) with highly qualified and attractive complementary training activities and associated research budgets including the enrolment in graduated schools with the opportunity to achieve PhD title which aims to integrate the fundamental research in forest ecology and applied science of forest engineering. More specifically, to upgrade the concept of integrative forest management under carbon smart forestry in the framework of global changes by implementing and disseminating research findings and ideas while taking into account the aspects of silvicultural forest management and operations.

In addition, ETN Skill-For.Action closely pays attention to the stand to tree organ level processes, forest management regimes and technologies used in forest harvesting with involving huge climate gradient, encompassing Atlantic to Subtropical climates. ETN Skill-For.Action is encouraging all new generations of ESRs to adopt the most up-to-date methodologies and using standardized protocols for data collection and analysis, aiming to produce transferrable research in forest practice. Further, ETN Skill-For.Action is exclusive in terms of transdisciplinary, cross sectional (i.e., experts from academic and non-academic sectors) to strengthen and boosting the capacity of ESRs for future careers and vigorous engagement in forest sectors. ETN Skill-For.Action also provides ESRs with a unique opportunity to collaborate with other ESRs working on similar research goals.

The Skill-For.Action consortium is composed of 10 academic partners and 11 academic and non-academic partners organizations from 6 different countries (i.e., Spain, Germany, Poland, Italy, South Africa, Switzerland). It gathers complementary expertise in forest growth and yield modelling, tree nutrition and isotope analyses, fuel consumption and emissions as well as experience in forest operation management and interactive 3D simulations.

Individual ESRs research topics, Institutions, Goals:

  • Better understanding of drought response differs in mixed vs pure stands and how it depends on stand density, site conditions.


  • 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024



Project partners


Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) –
Berner Fachhochschule (BFH) - Hochschule für Agrar-, Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften (HAFL) –
Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz, NRW - Forstliches Bildungszentrum für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik (FBZ) –
Libera Università di Bolzano (UNIBZ) - Facoltà di Scienze e Tecnologie (FAST) –
RWTH Aachen University –
Stellenbosch University (SU) - Department for Forest and Wood Science –
Technische Universität München (TUM) –
Università degli Studi di Padova (UP) -  Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro-Forestali (TESAF) –
Universidad de Valladolid (UVA) –
Szkoła Główna Gospodarstwa Wiejskiegow Warszawie (SGGW) - Katedra Hodowli Lasu (KHL) –

European Union (H2020-EU.1.3. / Grant agreement ID: 956355) –
European Union (H2020-EU.1.3. / Grant agreement ID: 956355) –