STReESSing inclusiveness

Action FP 1106 STReESS (Studying Tree Responses to extreme Events: a SyntheSis) is a recent example of COST’s commitment to promoting inclusiveness and supporting promising researchers from less research-intensive countries across Europe. In this case, research focuses on analysing the effects of extreme natural phenomena and climate change on the growth and wood quality of European tree species.

The STReESS Action is currently setting up a platform that is meant to analyse and integrate information about the ways trees react to stress occurring as a result of climate change or extreme weather conditions. This will lead to a better understanding of trees’ responses in different climate-defined scenarios and during different periods of time.

A feature that the network takes pride in is its inclusiveness, as the Action counts participation from 34 countries worldwide. One of them is Serbia .  Researchers from the Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment (ILFE) at the University of Novi Sad participated in two short-term scientific meetings (STSM) in three member countries during the Action’s first year, focusing on advancing their research in wood anatomy, stress physiology, metabolomics and dendrochronology.

Thanks to its participation, ILFE also improved its technical capacities, recently benefiting from a state-of-the-art, sensor-based system measuring – among others – plant-water relations and forest growth rates. This also reflects COST’s efforts to counterbalance research communities’ unequal access to knowledge infrastructures and resource distribution.

Other neighbouring countries such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Bulgaria are also involved in STReESS. Their participation has strengthened the existing regional cooperation and has set up new networking opportunities for scientists, regardless of their career stage.

With three more years ahead, the Action aims to link scientific expertise gathered from the platform in order to strengthen the scientific basis for a sustainable management of European forests. 


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Last updated: 28 May 2014 top of page