Mediterranean forests are considered as a hotspot of global change impacts and risks. Promoting forest health and adaptation to global change is particularly challenging because of considerable uncertainty in future socio-economic and climatic scenarios, ecosystem responses, and impacts of forest management practices, among other factors.

Key reasons to attend this course

Have an overview of global change trends in Mediterranean forests.
Better understand the impact of global change on forest health.
Acquire knowledge on methods and tools for an improved assessment, monitoring and surveillance of forest health.
Gain an insight into the risk of emerging health issues caused by different invasive plant species and forest pests and pathogens.
Learn about the use of available models and tools to support informed decision making.
Get to know approaches of integrated forest health management strategies to cope with global change.
Gain a perspective of the most important climate change drivers threatening forest health in the Mediterranean.
Connect and network with professionals from other countries involved in forest health.


Live sessions and applied examples, case studies, demonstrations and debate

18 leading international experts

English, French and Spanish will be the working languages of the course and simultaneous interpreting will be provided.


  • 1. Mediterranean forest and global change (1 hour)
    • 1.1. Forest and society: products and other ecosystem services, public health
    • 1.2. Forest sector role in bioeconomy
    • 1.3. The concept of forest health
    • 1.4. History of Mediterranean forests and forest health
    • 1.5. Global change and Mediterranean forest
      • 1.5.1. Climate change in the Mediterranean basin
      • 1.5.2. Interactions with native pests/diseases
      • 1.5.3. Invasive species
      • 1.5.4. Land use change and habitat loss
  • 2. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on forest health (11 hours)
    • 2.1. Climate change scenarios for Mediterranean forests
    • 2.2. Abiotic drivers
      • 2.2.1. Increasing temperature and heat waves
      • 2.2.2. Rainfall variation regimes and drought
      • 2.2.3. Fire
      • 2.2.4. Air pollution
      • 2.2.5. Phenological shift
    • 2.3. Biotic drivers
      • 2.3.1. Climate envelope/expansion/regression
        • Prediction based on species distribution models (SDM) – The case of Phytophthora cinnamomi
        • Mechanistic models – The case of Thaumetopoea pityocampa
        • Demonstration exercise using SDM and degree-days
      • 2.3.2. Drought/parasites interaction
        • The case of Diplodia sapinea
        • The case of wood borers and bark beetles
        • Phenological shifts – The case of gypsy moth in Sardinia
      • 2.3.3. Response of natural enemies
    • 2.4. Tree decline – The case of oaks
  • 3. Non-native pests (7 hours)
    • 3.1. History and pathways
    • 3.2. Detailed case studies of invasive pests and diseases in the Mediterranean region
      • 3.2.1. Insects: Leptoglossus seed bugs, Xylosandrus spp. ambrosia beetles, recent changes in eucalypt insect invaders
      • 3.2.2. Nematodes – The case of pine wood nematodes
      • 3.2.3. Pathogens: Phytophthora cinnamomi, Cryphonectria parasitica, Fusarium circinatum
      • 3.2.4. Invasive plant species
    • 3.3. Methods for predicting new invaders
      • 3.3.1. Tools presentation
      • 3.3.2. Demonstration exercise on horizon scanning for predicting biological invasions
    • 3.4. Regulation and management of invasive species
  • 4. Forest health surveillance (7 hours)
    • 4.1. Principles and methods of existing monitoring and surveillance programmes
      • 4.1.1. Survey methods
      • 4.1.2. Tree and forest health indicators (visual and non-visual); assessing forest health status and trends
      • 4.1.3. The case of the ICP Forests
      • 4.1.4. Practical work
        • Tree defoliation
        • Visible foliar symptoms due to ozone
    • 4.2. Need for improved surveillance and methods
      • 4.2.1. Diagnosis of invasive species
      • 4.2.2. Surveillance of nurseries and pathways
      • 4.2.3. New tools for surveillance: remote sensing, GIS, smart traps, etc.
    • 4.3. Demonstration exercise on the use of online tools and databases
  • 5. Management strategies to cope with the effects of global change on forest health (5 hours)
    • 5.1. Introduction to management strategies
      • 5.1.1. Forest health as key criterion of Sustainable Forest Management
      • 5.1.2. Prevention measures
      • 5.1.3. Quarantine and legal restrictions of movement
      • 5.1.4. Sylvicultural practices
      • 5.1.5. Biological control
      • 5.1.6. Breeding for tolerance and resistance
    • 5.2. The case of pine wood nematode in Portugal
    • 5.3. The case of evergreen oak decline in Spain
    • 5.4. The case of chestnut gall wasp in Turkey. Demonstration on biological control effectiveness simulations
    • 5.5. Debate on current issues in forest health strategies

Train at an outstanding international institution


If you wish to participate in the course, apply online at the following address:

The course is designed for 30* participants with a university degree and is aimed at professionals from health services, environmentalists, technical advisors and experts from R&D institutions involved in forest health management.

*The number of admissions can be increased to attend lectures only, excluding practical work.

The course will be held from 22 November to 1 December 2021. The 8 sessions will be held from 22 to 26 November and 29 November to 1 December, from 09:15h to 13:45h (Central European Time).

Application deadline: 22 October 2021.

The deadline may be extended for candidates not applying for a scholarship if there are free places available.

Registration fees for the course amount to 400 euro.
Candidates from Mediterranean countries may apply for scholarships awarded by the organizing institutions covering registration fees.
Candidates from other countries who require financial support should apply directly to other national or international institutions.

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza

Av. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain

+34 976716000

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