ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

The paper presents information on the projected drought exposure of Central Europe, describes the anticipated dynamics of the regional forests, and identifies measures facilitating the adaptation of forests to climate change-induced drought risk. On the basis of an ensem-ble of climate change scenarios we expect substantial drying in southern Slovakia and Hungary, while such trends were found to be less pronounced for the Czech Republic and Austria. In response to these climate trajectories, a change in species composition towards a higher share of drought tolerant species as well as the use of drought resistant provenances are identified as paramount actions in forest adaptation in the region. Adaptation to aggravating climate change may need to use artificial regeneration to enrich local gene pools and increase the drought tolerance of stands. Increasing risks from pests, pathogens and other disturbances are expected as a result of more frequent and severe droughts, underlining the need to put a stronger focus on risk management principles rather than on indicators of productivity in silviculture and forest planning. A consolidation of disturbance monitoring systems and a broader use of pest dynamics and hazard rating models are paramount tools to facilitate this adaptation process in forest management. The effectiveness of all the suggested measures needs to be controlled by efficient forest monitoring systems, the consolidation of which seems to be a timely task. Systematic and long-term implementation of the presented measures should increase forest stability and resilience, and further secure the sustainable provision of ecosystem services under climate change.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... In Slovakia, we can observe a trend of decreasing rainfall during the growing season, rising temperatures and a saturation deficit at lower altitudes [10]. Climate change scenarios predict substantial drying in Slovakia's southern regions [10,11]. The increasing risk of extremely dry years includes soil climate changes, resulting in increased soil erosion or lower productivity [12]. ...
... This study is focused on the characterisation of drought episodes from a meteorological point of view and the subsequent response in soil hydrology on the lower altitudinal ecological limit of beech occurrence in Slovakia, where the risk of drought is relevant [10,11,19]. The aim was to understand the evolution of drought within the soil profile in response to extreme weather conditions during the vegetation season. ...
... Over large areas of Europe, climate change causes an increasing risk of drought in forest ecosystems [11,37]. Climate models predict an increased frequency of unfavourable dry years in Central Europe, resulting in changes to the soil climate and interference in the soil water regime [12]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the ongoing climate change, decreasing amounts of available water and increasing evapotranspiration during the growing season may impact the stability of some beech ecosystems at lower altitudes. This paper aims to evaluate the risk of drought from a meteorological point of view and the subsequent response in soil hydrology throughout hydrological years 2015 and 2016 in beech forests situated in Central Slovakia. Precipitation sufficiency was assessed by means of a climate irrigation index (CII). Hydrological modelling was carried out using GLOBAL, the simulation model of water movement in a soil profile with an emphasis on the root zone. The greatest drought risk occurs during the summer, when the ecosystem suffers from long periods of water deficiency according to the CII (>20 days). The water content in specific soil horizons responds differently to changing meteorological situations. Simulations indicated a later decrease (approx. 5 days) of the water content in the B horizon (main root zone) compared with the A horizon. Drought lasts longer in deeper layers and retreats only in the case of long-lasting rainfall. Sudden heavy rainfall has proven ineffective at moistening the entire soil profile and impacts only the upper few centimetres while the main root zone suffers from water shortage.
... Although the conversion of coniferous, even-aged monocultures to more diverse mixed forests has been in the focus of forest research for decades [144][145][146][147], large parts of Central European forests are still dominated by conifers such as N. spruce [30,148], e.g., 55% share of conifers in Germany [31]. Due to high susceptibility to pests, windthrow, and drought, ongoing climate change is increasingly becoming a problem for forestry practices in these stands [32]. ...
... Due to high susceptibility to pests, windthrow, and drought, ongoing climate change is increasingly becoming a problem for forestry practices in these stands [32]. Admixing or replacing the stands with suitable tree species is often recommended in the long term [36,148] because of the lower risk of natural disturbances and, thus, lower economic uncertainties [149]. Therefore, silvicultural guidelines strive to convert destabilized monospecific forests into more stable, mixed forests [150], which is possible with appropriate management strategies, as simulation studies have recently shown [146,151]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Due to high productivity and past management approaches, the forests of Central Europe are heavily dominated by conifers, even on sites where they do not occur naturally at all. One prominent example is Norway spruce (Picea abies H. Karst.), a species considered particularly vulnerable to severe droughts, especially outside of its ecological niche where it has been widely planted over the past centuries. In the face of global change, it is a major task for foresters to increase these forests’ ability to cope with the impacts of increasing climatic extremes. Therefore, gaining more knowledge about how different management strategies affect the drought responses of trees is crucial. However, we still know little about the influence of the individual treatment history of a tree on its growth. We used a dendroecological approach to address this issue and to assess how initial spacing, structural diversity, tree size, and density regulation approaches modulate annual growth, especially in drought years. We hypothesized that stand establishment and past silvicultural treatment codetermine tree growth and drought resilience. Our study took place at the combined spacing-thinning trial Fürstenfeldbruck 612 (FFB 612) in Southern Germany, since it delivered precise long-term data covering a broad range of treatments. Based on linear mixed effect models, we showed that the individual treatment history of a tree affects its annual growth and drought responses considerably. In more detail, we found that (i) high structural diversity in the vicinity of each tree favored growth and improved a tree’s performance under drought; (ii) larger trees were more climate-sensitive; (iii) previous high variations in thinning intensity, and consequently strong fluctuations in growth, affected current growth negatively and reduced recovery from droughts. Furthermore, we sought to understand the underlying mechanisms and to draw potential implications for refining silvicultural guidelines.
... It is important to identify these tipping points in order to facilitate the adaptation of forests to climate change. Some options include: assisted regeneration, modifying the main species if necessary; use of plants from drought-resistant provenance regions; inclusion of resprouter species; adaptation of nursery plants to water stress; use of containers according to the species root growth; use of water-retainer hydrogels in plantations; microcatchments for runoff harvesting; treeshelters; deeper planting holes; organic amendments; and biotic interactions to facilitate establishment [17,[55][56][57][58]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Mediterranean climate has dry and hot summers, which is harsh for plants, especially seedlings. During the 1950s and 1960s, most reforestations carried out in Central Spain, a Mediterranean climate area, were successful, but in recent decades an increasing difficulty in forest regeneration has been observed, often attributed to increased summer drought. This study analyses changes in climatic parameters related to forest regeneration through statistical treatment of meteorological data series from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Simple and multiple regressions and ANOVAs were performed for five parameters, considering annual, summer and extended summer values. Rainfall reduction and prolongation of the summer drought period were not statistically significant. The change that better explains regeneration problems is the increase in temperature, especially in July and August, which was mostly significant between 2002 and 2021. Raising temperatures increase the vapor pressure deficit, exacerbating drought effects and plant mortality. Climate change scenarios point to an increase in temperatures until 2100; thus, the tipping point for natural regeneration of some species could be passed. The most affected species are those at their ecological limit. It is necessary to facilitate the adaptation of these forests to climate change, since their future will depend on the actions carried out today.
... Ongoing climate change impacts include heat waves, changes in precipitation regimes, wind disturbances and increasing risk of fires, leading to more extreme weather events (Gregow et al. 2017;Hlásny et al. 2014;Schelhaas et al. 2010). Prolonged droughts as well as pests and diseases, which arose as a consequence of climate change, have been identified as important drivers in tree mortality worldwide (Allen et al. 2010;Rivers 2019;Seidl et al. 2014). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Background Non-native tree species (NNT) whose natural range is outside Europe have long been part of the cultural development of the European forest landscape, providing numerous benefits as well as posing risks to biodiversity and other ecosystem services. On the one hand, NNT are valued for their timber properties, high growth rates and resistance to drought for improving forestry or adapting forests to climate change. On the other hand, they can potentially negatively impact the environment and economy, particularly when they spread into protected areas, become established there and can only be controlled at great expense under risk management. Given their (potential) negative impacts, some NNT are classified as invasive in multiple European countries based on the results of risk assessments. The ones classified as invasive may be included in regional, national, or EU legislation, which may result in imposing restrictions on their cultivation. However, the methods applied in risk assessments across Europe were not specifically developed for NNT, and countries differ in their approaches. Existing methods may therefore not sufficiently identify the ecological risks associated with NNT unless they explicitly address the characteristics of tree species and site-specific aspects of forest management. Moreover, country-specific approaches may hamper the harmonisation of information and hinder risk assessments that extend across European borders. No studies to date have investigated the methods of risk assessments for NNT used in European forestry. Since NNT can have both risks and benefits, a careful and scientifically sound risk assessment is thus vital to provide clear evaluations for management, policy decisions and scientific purposes. Research objectives The main purpose of this thesis was to improve risk assessment approaches for the use of NNT in European forestry. In this context, the first objective was to review current risk assessment methods in Europe in terms of their suitability in identifying the ecological risks associated with NNT, thereby supporting both forest and risk management decisions (first objective). Based on the analysis of existing methods, it became obvious that it is necessary to improve the data base for risk assessments, e.g. by using forest inventory data (second objective), and to establish new criteria for assessing the risks of NNT (third objective). In summary, the main research objectives were as follows: (1) analyse the methods of existing risk assessment schemes in Europe for their practical applicability and consistency for potentially invasive non-native tree species. (2) strengthen the evidence base for risk assessments of widespread non-native tree species in Europe, using systematically collected data from forest inventories. (3) develop a risk assessment method that permits a more generalisable consideration of the costs and benefits of using non-native tree species in forests. Methods (1) Analysis of existing risk assessment tools Several risk assessment tools currently used in Germany and neighbouring countries were analysed for their practical applicability and consistency using four NNT (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh., Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb. Ex Murray), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, and Quercus rubra L.) as case studies. Literature reviews were carried out to collect the required information on the invasion biology of the four NNT in Europe. Different methods were applied by assessing the tools’ criteria for each NNT using the information derived from the literature review based on the same reference area (Germany). (2) Strengthening the evidence base for risk assessments The relevance of using large scale forest inventory data for risk assessments was demonstrated using the two potentially invasive NNT, Quercus rubra and Pseudotsuga menziesii, in Germany as case studies. For this purpose, the establishment success of natural regeneration was quantified in terms of cover and height classes using national forest inventory data for Germany. The current extent of spread into protected forest habitats was investigated using a regional dataset for the State of Baden-Württemberg (south-west Germany). (4) Developing a risk assessment method for NNT First, basic principles and steps were identified and formulated for the development of a new methodological framework in order to assess the risks of NNT. Subsequently, four workshops were conducted with interdisciplinary groups of experts, public authorities, and stakeholders from the areas of forest conservation, silviculture, and nature conservation. Workshop participants were encouraged to evaluate each component of the proposed method and suggest improvements. Results and discussion Using different tools to classify risks for the same NNT yielded inconsistent results for all NNT. Different criteria are used in the methods and/or similar criteria are weighted differently. In most cases, no differentiation is made between the risks posed by NNT at different sites and ecosystem types. When data quality was poor, the precautionary principle (of considering only the worst observed effect) was typically applied without ranking the available ecological studies by their evidence. As a result, observations of small case studies are often extrapolated to large spatial scales by providing one single risk classification, i.e., typically ‘invasive’ or ‘potentially invasive’. Such a single undifferentiated risk classification is unlikely to provide meaningful guidance for a wide range of different ecosystems and regions. Large-scale forest inventories can provide valuable data across a range of different forest types to support the risk assessments of widespread NNT in forests. Based on the assessment of Pseudotsuga menziesii and Quercus rubra, there was no evidence of high establishment and spreading potential for the majority of forest types in Germany. Natural regeneration of both NNT has been reported in a small proportion of protected forest habitats. Semi-natural forests with sufficient light in the understory and competitively inferior tree species can be considered most sensitive to invasion. To mitigate any potential negative effect of both NNT, management approaches may involve buffer zones around sensitive ecosystems. When natural regeneration of NNT is systematically recorded, the approach could also be applied in other countries or regions. A new methodological framework was developed to mitigate risks associated with the use of NNT in European forestry while taking advantage of their ecosystem services. In contrast to the previously developed risk assessment approaches, the proposed method takes different ecosystem sensitivities to NNT into consideration as well as existing silvicultural methods to control or exclude potential risks. The framework comprises eight steps and is based on the existing knowledge as well as collecting new data. In addition to the use of the proposed method, several changes of environmental policy and forest management are recommended in order to achieve positive outcomes in the sustainable management of NNT. Conclusions The analysis of existing risk assessment tools (first objective) has shown that the results of the different risk assessment methods applied in Central Europe cannot be used as a reliable decision support tool for both forest and risk management of NNT. To strengthen the evidence base for risk assessments (second objective), forest inventories can provide important data for assessing the establishment and spreading potential of widespread NNT across a range of sites, thus identifying sensitive ecosystem types. The risk assessment criteria developed in this thesis enable NNT with a low current risk to be identified and considered for planting. The criteria thus provide a framework for integrating risk mitigation into forest management and represent an important step towards reliable, Pan-European risk assessments of NNT (third objective). The knowledge derived from such risk assessments should be made available for various stakeholders. In addition, clear communication is necessary between practitioners, policymakers, and the public about the risks of NNT regarding different forest types, sites and regions, as well as available management options and uncertainties in the data. At the same time, further monitoring of NNT and more research on potential impacts are required to continuously improve the information basis for risk assessments. To strengthen the benefits of NNT while mitigating their risks, new political approaches based on unifying principles are needed in Europe. These issues need to be addressed to arrive at risk assessments that are of high practical value for the responsible use of NNT in European forestry.
... In particular, authors stressed that biodiversity conservation strongly supports adaptive management strategies (Klenk et al. 2015). According to many authors, all the 17 indicators could provide support for forest decision and policy makers (Hlásny et al. 2014). These indicators may raise awareness among forest managers and practitioners about climate change impacts and promote the implementation of adaptive management at local level (Seidl and Lexer 2013). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
National Forest Inventory (NFI) data are the main source of information on forest resources at country and subcountry levels. This chapter explores the strengths and limitations of NFI-derived indicators to assess forest development with respect to adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, that is, the criteria of Climate-Smart Forestry (CSF). We reflect on harmonizing NFI-based indicators across Europe, use literature to scrutinize available indicators to evaluate CSF, and apply them in 1) Switzerland, where CSF is evaluated for NFI records and simulation model projections with four management scenarios; 2) 43 selected European countries, for which the indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) are used. The indicators were aggregated to composite indices for adaptation and mitigation and to an overall CSF rating. The Swiss NFI records showed increased CSF ratings in mountainous regions, where growing stocks increased. Simulations under business-as-usual management led to a positive CSF rating, whereas scenarios of increased harvesting decreased either only adaptation or both mitigation and adaptation. European-level results showed increases in CSF ratings for most countries. Negative adaptation ratings were mostly due to forest damages. We discuss the limitations of the indicator approach, consider the broader context of international greenhouse gas reporting, and conclude with policy recommendations.
... The correlation between climate conditions and vegetation from different viewpoints was rendered in a series of regional studies covering Central Europe (Bálint et al., 2011;Hlásny et al., 2014;Spinoni et al., 2013), South-Eastern Europe (Páscoa et al., 2020), Serbia (Stojanović et al., 2012), Hungary (Führer et al., 2011Mátyás et al., 2018), Romania (Budeanu et al., 2016;Vlăduț et al., 2017), etc. The aim of the present study is to emphasize this correlation based on certain bioclimatic indices within the Subcarpathians as this is the most important region if considering deciduous compact forest surfaces except for the mountain region from Oltenia. ...
Article
Full-text available
The present paper aimed to render the correlation between the climatic conditions and forest vegetation within the Subcarpathian area, based on specific bioclimatic indices. In order to emphasize this correlation, there were analysed the spatial distribution and temporal variability of three indices-"De Martonne" aridity index (Ia), Ellenberg Quotient (EQ) and the forestry aridity index (FAI). The average monthly and annual temperature and precipitation data cover a period of 58 years (1961-2018). Based on the average values of the three indices it resulted that the central and eastern parts of the study area, with lower altitudes, is more suitable for the development of thermophilic species (oak, but also other deciduous species), while the western part, as well as at higher altitudes, beech (Fagus silvatica) and even coniferous species find proper conditions. The results indicate a good correlation among different bioclimatic indexes and between bioclimatic indexes and CLC 2018 classes of vegetation cover. In terms of temporal evolution, there Were not identified any statistically significant trends for the analyzed indices, mainly due to the fact that temperature increase in the area was also accompanied by the increase of the precipitation amount.
Article
Key message: Climate envelope analysis of nine tree species shows that Fagus sylvatica L. and Picea abies H. Karst could lose 58% and 40% of their current distribution range. Quercus pubescens Willd and Quercus cerris L. may win areas equal with 47% and 43% of their current ranges. The ratio of poorly predictable areas increases by 105% in southern and south-eastern Europe. Context: Climate change requires adaptive forest management implementations. To achieve climate neutrality, we have to maintain and expand forest areas. Impact assessments have great importance. Aims: The study estimates the potential climate envelopes of nine European tree species for a past period (1961– 1990) and for three future periods (2011–2040, 2041–2070, 2071–2100) under two emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) based on the current species distribution. Methods: Climate envelopes were estimated simultaneously using the random forest method. Multi-resolution seg- mentation was used to determine the climatic characteristics of each species and their combinations. Models were limited to the geographical area within which the climatic conditions correspond to the climatic range of the training areas. Results: Results showed remarkable changes in the extent of geographic areas of all the investigated species’ climate envelopes. Many of the tree species of Central Europe could lose significant portions of their distribution range. Adhering to the shift in climate, these tree species shift further north as well as towards higher altitudes. Conclusion: European forests face remarkable changes, and the results support climate envelope modelling as an important tool that provides guidelines for climate adaptation to identify threatened areas or to select source and destination areas for reproductive material. Availabiliy: It is an open access article. Click on DOI in the header or follow this link: https://rdcu.be/cTncj
Article
Full-text available
1998-ban az Erdészeti Kutatószervezetek Nemzetközi Szövetsége (IUFRO) szervezésében Európa szerte egy bükk (Fagus sylvatica L.) származási kísérletsorozat indult a fafaj klimatikus alkalmazkodóképessége tanulmányozására. A magyarországi helyszín Bucsuta (Zala megye), ökológiailag kiemelt helyen fekszik, legközelebb a fafaj szárazsági erdőhatárához. A területen kiválasztott hat azonos korú származás parcella kísérleti elrendezésben helyezkedik el. Kutatócsoportunk növénykémiai vizsgálatokkal járult hozzá a klimatikus alkalmazkodás Bucsután zajló interdiszciplináris tanulmányozásához. Több éven át követtük a szimulált klímaváltozás hatását, összehasonlítva a hat származás enzimes és nem-enzimes antioxidáns rendszereit. Mértük a kiválasztott egyedek leveleiben az összfehérje-tartalmat, a peroxidáz (POD) és polifenol-oxidáz (PPO) enzimek aktivitását, az ABTS (2,2’-azino-di-(3-etilbenzotiazolin)-6-szulfonsav) antioxidáns kapacitást, és meghatároztuk a polifenolok minőségi és mennyiségi spektrumait. Megállapítottuk, hogy az áttelepítéssel szimulált klimatikus stresszre adott válaszok az eredeti származási helytől függően különböznek, és a különbségek kémiai mérésekkel kimutathatók. A peroxidáz enzim aktivitás, az összfehérje-tartalom és egyes polifenolok az adaptáció kémiai indikátorai lehetnek, és hasznosíthatók a klímaváltozás jövőbeli hatásainak előrejelzésében a bükk szaporítóanyag jövőbeli kiválasztásakor.
Chapter
This paper provides an updating of information of a selected number of major phytoplasma diseases of forest trees, with a focus on the associated phytoplasma taxa. Phytoplasma diseases of forest trees have been less extensively studied than those affecting fruit trees. Research on the role of phytoplasmas as the cause of diseases of forest trees has only in the last few years been intensified, after sensitive and specific detection methods greatly based on PCR technology became available. Various phytoplasma taxa have been identified in naturally infected elm, ash, conifer, sandal, and eucalyptus trees, whereas only one phytoplasma taxon has been recorded in naturally infected alder trees. However, for almost all of the reviewed diseases, there is still sparse information about insect vectors, plant host range, strain virulence, pathogenicity, and host tolerance and resistance. Knowledge of these aspects is the basis for appropriate disease management. In particular, further research is required to clarify the role of phytoplasmas in asymptomatic trees. In addition, the etiological role of various “non-specific” phytoplasma taxa, which have been recorded in forest trees, while no data from pathological studies are available, needs to be further investigated. Keywords: ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ species; 16Sr group/subgroups; PCR; yellows diseases; witches’ broom; phloem discoloration; die-back; phytoplasma strains; etiology; eucalyptus little-leaf; disease incidence
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article deals with individual tree diameter increment of mature Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees after release cut. The study is focused mainly on individual seed trees. Measurement was done altogether in 22 forest stands at three different forest administrations (State Forest of the Czech Republic: LS Choceň, LS Nasavrky a LS Plasy). By Pressler auger 104 trees were sampled in total. Increment cores were further analyzed in dendrochronological laboratory. By comparing tree ring widths 10 years before and 10 years after release cut, there mature trees of Scots pine were found responding to that partial logging in stem diameter increment for more than half of the trees. Nevertheless, the Student´s t-test confirmed statistically significant increment only in one third of tree individuals. The study proved, that mature trees of Scots pine reacted to release cut very quickly; i.e. during one or two years after the partial logging. The period with an elevated stem diameter increment last for 18 years on average. The reaction of stem diameter increment of individual Scots pine trees can be expected on the natural pine habitats at lowlands (Target management unit-CHS 13) and on the acidic soils at lowlands and also uplands (CHS 23 and 43). At these sites, 50 % probability for elevated stem diameter increment could be expected. Abstrakt Tento článek se zabývá vlivem uvolnění na tloušťkový přírůst dospělých jedinců borovice lesní (Pinus sylvestris L.). Studie byla zaměřena především na jedince ve formě semenných výstavků. Sběr dat proběhl v rámci tří lesních správ, LČR, s. p.: LS Choceň, LS Nasavrky a LS Plasy, celkem ve 22 porostech. Pomocí Presslerova přírůstového nebozezu byly odebrány vývrty ze 104 stromů. Tyto vývrty byly dále analyzovány s ohledem na tloušťky jednotlivých letokruhů v dendrochronologické laboratoři. Dle porovnání tlouštěk letokruhů 10 let před uvolněním a 10 let po uvolnění bylo zjištěno, že dospělí jedinci borovice reagovali na uvolnění hospodářsky významným navýšením na tloušťkovém přírůstu ve více než polovině případů, dle Studentova t-testu statisticky významného navýšení přírůstu dosáhla třetina stromů. Výzkum odhaluje, že dospělé borovice reagují na uvolnění velmi rychle, a to takřka bezprostředně či do dvou let po momentu uvolnění. Průměrná doba reakce zvýšeného tloušťkového přírůstu byla vyčíslena na 18 let. Přírůstovou reakci dospělých jedinců lze očekávat na přirozených borových stanovištích (CHS 13) a na kyselých stanovištích nižších a středních poloh (CHS 23 a 43). Na těchto stanovištích je možné počítat s minimálně 50 % pravděpodobností výrazného světlostního přírůstu.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The European forest types — Categories and types for sustainable forest management reporting and policy presents the findings of a study carried out by an international consortium of experts aimed at providing the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) with an user‑friendly forest types classification. The primary goal of the scheme is to improve the MCPFE reporting on sustainable forest management (SFM) in Europe, with special regard to forest type based SFM indicators.
Article
Full-text available
The mass mortality of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Hungary, which started in 2003 and went on through 2004, is the result of a typical damage chain. Mortality appeared first of all in beech forests close or outside of its native distribution area. The most significant reason was the drought period from 2000 to 2004, which weakened the trees, and favoured the development of different pests and pathogens. Characteristic symptoms were frequent at stand margins and in stands thinned for regeneration. The direct causes of the mortality were insects, the green jewel beetle (Agrilus viridis) and the beech bark beetle (Taphrorychus bicolor) as well as the fungus species Biscogniauxia nummularia. With the improvement of weather conditions a continuous recovery of the stands has been observed since 2005.
Article
Full-text available
The paper deals with environmental risk assessment in prevailingly unnatural spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) forests in three regions with different patterns of forest damage in the Slovak part of the West Carpathians. Logistic regression was used to estimate the effect of 7 site-related, 5 stand-related and 2 anthropogenic factors on the probability that critical forest damage will occur. The results show that regression models can describe cause-effect relationships in regions with different regimes of forest decline. Stand age, proportion of spruce, and distance from the focus of biotic agent activity predicted decline in two regions with generally lower elevation in northern Slovakia (Kysuce and Orava). In a mountain region (Low Tatras), the importance of factors contributing to the static stability of trees and position towards dangerous winds increased significantly. The quality of the derived models and prospects for their usefulness in risk assessment are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to provide quantitative information on the effect of climatic change on the growth and vitality of European beech: although the species is considered in its optimum highly plastic and adaptable, it becomes climate-sensitive closer to its xeric (lower) distribution limits. The future of beech in Southeast Europe requires special attention because this region harbours significant populations living at or near their xeric distribution boundary. Even though the low elevation occurrences are uniquely vulnerable to climatic shifts, observations and modelling studies pertaining to this region are particularly scarce. Out of climatic factors determining the xeric distributional limits for beech, Ellenberg's drought index (EQ) appeared as the most influential. Growth response analyses in comparative tests have confirmed the existence of macroclimatic adaptation of beech and have proven that warming and more arid conditions lead to decline of growth and vitality, while no decline was observed if EQ changed in the opposite direction. The response to weather extremes was investigated in field plots. Recurrent summer droughts of 3 to 4 consecutive years, above mean EQ value 40-42 resulted in pest and disease attacks and mass mortality. The discussed approaches indicate consistently a high level of uncertainty regarding the future of beech at the xeric limit in Southeast Europe. According to field observations and bioclimatic data in Hungary, a large part of low-elevation beech forests presently in the zone of EQ index >20 might be threatened by the warming in the second half of the century, while higher-elevation occurrences may remain stable. The interpretation of the results bears some stipulations, such as the consequence of ecological and human interactions in influencing present distribution patterns, the unclear role of persistence, natural selection and plasticity and uncertainties of climate projections. Grim projections may probably be partly overwritten by the mentioned stipulations and by careful and prudent human support.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study compiles and summarizes the existing knowledge about observed and projected impacts of climate change on forests in Europe and reviews options for forests and forestry to adapt to climate change. It has been commissioned by the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission as an initial exploration of this complex issue. Forests are particularly sensitive to climate change, because the long life-span of trees does not allow for rapid adaptation to environmental changes. Adaptation measures for forestry need to be planned well in advance of expected changes in growing conditions because the forests regenerated today will have to cope with the future climate conditions of at least several decades, often even more than 100 years. Impacts of climate change and adaptation options were reviewed by synthesizing the existing knowledge from scientific literature, complemented with expert assessments. On-going and planned adaptation measures in EU27 Member States were surveyed with a questionnaire. The exposure to climate change was analysed by reviewing latest climate change scenario projections in Chapter 3. The main impact factors affecting forests under climate change were reviewed in Chapter 4.1. Next, the sensitivity to and potential impacts of climate change were analysed (Chapter 4.2). After reviewing different components of the adaptive capacity of forests and forestry (Chapter 5), vulnerability to climate change and related risks and opportunities were highlighted (Chapter 6). Chapters 7 to 9 analyse possible adaptation measures to respond to climate change, assess feasibility and efficiency of prominent measures, and survey their implementation in the 27 EU Member States. The results are presented for four main bioclimatic zones: Boreal, Temperate Oceanic, Temperate Continental, and the Mediterranean. Mountainous regions have been also analysed where appropriate.
Article
Full-text available
A review has been given with regards on the ecosystem sensitivities, future impacts on goods and services and possible adaptation options so as to anticipate the problems with climate change and temperate in the Mediterranean mountain forests in Europe. A focus will be given on the main mountain ranges which include the Alps, Carpathians and Pyrenees which are climatic zones and covers a variety of forest types that include thermophilous broadleaved evergreen, dry and alpine coniferous forests and the temperate continental deciduous forests.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Climate change is generally agreed to have a profound impact on forest structure and its dynamics (Aber et al. 2001; Ayres and Lombardero 2000; Dale et al. 2000, 2001). As trees can live from decades to centuries, rapid changes of climate are also expressed through alterations of the disturbance regime (Franklin et al. 2002; He et al. 1999).