Innovative management and multifunctional utilization of traditional coppice forests – an answer to future ecological, economic and social challenges in the European forestry sector (EuroCoppice)
Coppicing is a very traditional way of forest management. It benefits from the natural (vegetative) regeneration of mostly broadleaf species and their fast growth in the first decades. In most cases situated close to settlements this silvicultural regime provided among others firewood, bark, fruits and grazing and by this supported the livelihood of the rural population. Until the middle of the 20th century, coppice forests were very common in most parts of Europe.
With increase in use of non-renewable raw materials, coppice lost importance and was neglected or converted. Only recently coppice has been re-discovered because of its adaptive ecology, its stability and multiple benefits, notably its protection function, contribution to biodiversity and as a source of renewable bioenergy. Traditional coppice management is often combined with special ownership and user rights regimes (e. g. commons) and this governance regime may be also an interesting alternative for small scale forestry and/or “modern” short rotation coppice (SRC) which is established on former agriculture land. The Action aims to bring together European scientists, experts and young scholars to exchange knowledge about coppice forestry and to start developing innovative management and utilization concepts/techniques for future modern multifunctional coppice management systems.