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To circumvent problems associated with even-aged, pure coniferous stands propagated outside their natural range alternative management strategies and conversion programs are currently discussed in Central Europe. However, a mainstreaming of such adapted silvicultural systems with climate change mitigation objectives is missing to date. In this study the objective was to assess in situ C storage under conditions of climate change in a secondary Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forest management unit in Austria. Four management strategies (Norway spruce age class forestry, transition to continuous cover forestry with Norway spruce, conversion to mixed conifer/broadleaved stands, no management) were investigated under current climate and two transient climate change scenarios in a simulation study. By comparing the results of two independent forest ecosystem models (PICUS v1.41, 4C) applied under identical forcings and boundary conditions we aimed at addressing uncertainties in model-based projections. A transition to continuous cover forestry increased C storage in all climate scenarios (+45.4 tC·ha–1 to +74.0 tC·ha–1 over the 100 year analysis period) compared to the approximately balanced C budget under the age class system. For the mixed conifer/broadleaved management variant predictions of the two models diverged significantly (+29.4 tC·ha–1 and –10.6 tC·ha–1 in PICUS and 4C respectively, current climate). With regard to climate change impacts both models agreed on distinct effects on productivity but lower sensitivity of C stocks due to compensation from respiration and adaptive harvest levels. In conclusion, considering the potential effects of silvicultural decisions on C stocks climate change mitigation should be addressed explicitly in programs advocating targeted change in management paradigms.