Dr. FOREST - Diversity of FORESTs affecting human health

Project duration:
01.02.2020-31.01.2023 (36 months)
Financing institutions:
National Science Centre (Polish part of the project)
Composition of the consortium:
Project coordinator:
prof. dr Michael Scherer-Lorenzen (University of Albert-Ludvig in Freiburg, Niemcy)
Project leader of the Polish part of the project:
prof. dr hab. Bogdan Jaroszewicz (Białowieża Geobotanical Station, University of Warsaw)
Project website:
Project description

Forest ecosystems are an important reservoir for biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes within Europe, and deliver many ecosystem services. They are also a popular location for recreational activities, especially near urban areas. However, forests can also harbour threats and diseases, e.g. ticks that transmit pathogens to humans. Thus, there is a need to quantify the impacts of forest biodiversity on multiple human health risks and benefits to combine biodiversity conservation with ecosystem management that supports human health and well-being.

Dr. FOREST aims to:

• Study the effects and underlying mechanisms of tree diversity in temperate forests on human health and well-being;

• Understand and predict the integrated effects of global change factors (climate change, air pollution) on biodiversity-related health issues;

• Value/qualify tree diversity benefits to human health and well-being, and communicate these findings to local and high-level international stakeholders.

Empirical research in existing tree diversity research sites will be performed across five main study topics: psychological restoration; microclimate, medicinal and edible plants and fungi; disease vectors; clean air; and health impact modelling and assessment. The work will be done in contrasting climatic regions of Central Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland). Three case studies in urban forests will be developed and paired with three stakeholder workshops, in Belgium, France and Germany.

Dr. FOREST in a nutshell – the leaflet on our project

How does the diversity of forests affect human health and well-being? – animated summary of hypotheses and research aim

Publications created as part of a research project

Gillerot L., Landuyt D., Oh R., Chow W., Haluza D., Ponette Q., Jactel H., Bruelheide H., Jaroszewicz B., Scherer-Lorenzen M., De Frenne P., Muys B., Verheyen K. 2022. Forest structure and composition alleviate human thermal stress. Global Change Biology 28(24): 7340-7352. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.16419


Stojek K., Gillerot L., Jaroszewicz B. 2022. Predictors of mushroom production in the temperate European mixed deciduous forest. Forest Ecology and Management 522: 120451. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2022.120451


Jaroszewicz B., Cholewińska O., Chećko E., Wrzosek M. 2021. Predictors of diversity of deadwood-dwelling macrofungi in a European natural forest. Forest Ecology and Management 490: 119123. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119123


Kortmann M., Müller J.C., Baier R., Bässler C., Buse J., Cholewińska O., Förschler M.I., Georgiev K.B., Hilszczański J., Jaroszewicz B., Jaworski T., Kaufmann S., Kuijper D., Lorz J., Lotz A., Łubek A., Mayerhofer S., Mayer M., Meyer S., Moriniere J., Popa F., Reith H., Roth N., Seibold S., Seidl R., Stengel E., Wolski G.J., Thorn S. 2021. Ecology versus society: a multi-perspective view on the impacts of bark beetle infestations in protected areas of Central Europe. Biological Conservation 254: 108931. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108931


Wysoczański W., Węgrzyn E., Lembicz M., Jaroszewicz B. 2021. Fungal microbiota in seeds, seedlings and mature plants of raspberry (Rubus ideaus L.). European Journal of Plant Pathology 161: 815–820. DOI: 10.1007/s10658-021-02364-y