Climate change is about to change many site factors relevant for forest dynamics, and is therefore posing a great challenge for silviculture. We review the options for addressing this challenge and provide recommendations. In general, forest management should aim at increasing the adaptive capacity of the forests, enhancing their resistance to disturbance, and at reducing negative impacts of increased disturbances on forest products and services. The key to coping with climate change lies in enhancing the proportion of tree species adapted to future climate, and, in response to the uncertainties associated, in promoting the diversity of tree species and provenances. Additionally, fostering diversity in forest structure is likely to reduce risks and secure forest products and services. Strategic silvicultural options include mapping the sensitivity of sites and stands to climate change, adapting the target species compositions and choosing an appropriate silvicultural system. At an operational level, silvicultural options to increase tree species diversity include artificial regeneration, tending young stands, regeneration cuts and the reduction of ungulate impact. Other options are the premature final felling of stands and wildfire prevention. As the site conditions are undergoing change, the two cornerstones of close-to-nature silviculture “species selection based on (current) site conditions” and “preference for natural regeneration”, need revision. A flexible approach to forest management is advocated since the reactions of the forest to climate change cannot be accurately predicted.

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