Forest Disturbances and Ecosystem Dynamics in a Changing World

An international symposium at the Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany, from 19. to 22. September 2022.


We hereby warmly invite you to mark your calendars for next year's symposium Forest disturbance and ecosystem dynamics in a changing world. The conference will take place at Berchtesgaden National Park - Germany's only Alpine National Park. Founded in 1978, the park includes 210 square kilometers of protected mountain landscapes, forests, lakes and river systems, including the iconic Watzmann Mountain.

The symposium will circle around four main topics: (1) Disturbance and ecosystem dynamics in a changing world, (2) Forest disturbance impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services, (3) Managing ecosystem dynamics in a changing world: Conservation, restoration, natural resources, and (4) Novel methods and approaches to study forest dynamics. To maximize personal exchange, the symposium will be organized as poster-only symposium, accompanied by eight enlightening keynote presentations and topped off by a field trip to the national park.

Abstract submission and registration

The abstract submission and registration are closed.


Monday 19. September 2022
13:00 - 13:30 Opening
13:30 - 14:30 Keynotes (MG Turner, J Baltzer)
14:30 - 17:00 Session 1
18:00 - 20:00 Ice Breaker

Tuesday 20. September 2022
08:30 - 09:30 Keynotes (J Pausas, A Schuldt)
09:30 - 12:00 Session 2
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 14:00 Keynotes (JM Serra-Diaz, C Munteanu)
14:00 - 16:30 Session 3

Wednesday 21. September 2022
08:30 - 16:30 Excursions
18:30 - 21:30 Conference dinner

Thursday 22. September 2022
08:30 - 09:30 Keynotes (N Coops, L Kueppers)
09:30 - 12:00 Session 4
12:00 - 12:30 Closing


The final program will be send around in June!


The town of Berchtesgaden is located in the German Alps bordering Austria. It is a rural place but easily reachable by train from Munich Central Station/Airport (2.5-3 h) or by bus or train from Salzburg (45 mins). For planning your trip, you can use Google Maps (see here for an example) or the official website of the German national railway company Deutsche Bahn.


The symposium will take place at Haus der Berge (house of the mountains) - the National Park's official visitor center (see 1 on the map below or here). You can reach the symposium venue by foot from downtown Berchtesgaden (approximately 10 minutes). The conference Dinner will take place at Bräustüberl, a traditional Bavarian brew-pub (see 2 on the map below). Both locations are easy to reach from the two conference hotels (see 3 and 4 on the map below).

Field Trips

We will offer three field trips with varying topics:

Field Trip 1: Disturbances and ecosystem dynamics in mountain landscapes

Highlights: We will take the cable car up to Mt. Jenner (1874m asl), with commanding views of lake Königssee, Mt. Watzmann and the landscapes of Berchtesgaden National Park. We will walk down through the Königsbach catchment, traversing the main vegetation zones characterizing the region (i.e., starting above the timberline and hiking through high mountain pastures, subalpine forests, montane and submontane forests). We will discuss the multiple disturbances acting on the landscape, and their effects on ecosystem dynamics. The hike is on well-maintained hiking trails, and approximately 12km long with only ~50m elevation gain. We will be out all day, but will be making frequent stops to facilitate discussion.

This excursion will be led by Prof. Rupert Seidl.

Field Trip 2: Disturbances and their effects on biodiversity and ecosystem processes

Highlights: We will take the bus to Hirschbichl pass (1183m asl), and hike through one of the main valleys of Berchtesgaden Nationalpark, the scenic Klausbach valley. We will experience the diversity in habitats in the national park from closed forests to anthropogenic and natural open areas (e.g., high mountain pastures, areas of moving gravel and rock). We will discuss the effects of disturbances on biodiversity, their measurement and monitoring, as well as implications for ecosystem processes and conservation management in the park. The hike is on well-maintained hiking trails, and approximately 10km long with no significant elevation gain. We will be out all day, but will be making frequent stops to facilitate discussion.

This excursion will be led by Dr. Sebastian Seibold.

Field trip 3: Natural ecosystem dynamics in cultural landscapes

Highlights: We will take the boat across lake Königssee, landing at the historical site of St. Bartholomä. There you will learn about the history and cultural significance of the site, and how past management has influenced and is still influencing natural systems dynamics. We will walk along the lake shore, through the Eisbach estuary and across the St. Bartholomä penninsular, discussing past and current management in the National Park (e.g., game management), the impact of tourism, and perceptions of natural dynamics in the cultural landscapes of Central Europe. The hike is on well- maintained hiking trails, and is approximately 3.5 km long with no significant elevation gain. The field trip will take half a day, with the rest of the day at your own disposal.

It will be led by the head of Berchtesgaden National Park, Dr. Roland Baier.