Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 529515
Title Are forest disturbances amplifying or canceling out climate change-induced productivity changes in European forests?
Author(s) Reyer, Christopher Paul Oliver; Bathgate, Stephan; Blennow, K.; Borges, J.G.; Bugmann, Harald; Delzon, Sylvain; Faias, Sonia P.; Garcia-Gonzalo, Jordi; Gardiner, Barry; Gonzalez-Olabarria, J.R.; Gracia, Carlos; Guerra Hernandez, Jordi; Kellomaki, Seppo; Kramer, K.; Lexer, M.J.; Lindner, Marcus; Maaten, Ernest van der; Maroschek, M.; Muys, Bart; Nicoll, B.; Palahi, M.; Palma, J.H.N.; Paulo, Joana A.; Peltola, H.; Pukkala, T.; Rammer, W.; Ray, D.; Sabaté, S.; Schelhaas, M.; Seidl, R.; Temperli, Christian; Tomé, Margarida; Yousefpour, R.; Zimmerman, N.E.; Hanewinkel, Marc
Source Environmental Research Letters 12 (2017)3. - ISSN 1748-9326
Department(s) PE&RC
Vegetation, Forest and Landscape Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2017
Abstract Recent studies projecting future climate change impacts on forests mainly consider either the effects of climate change on productivity or on disturbances. However, productivity and disturbances are intrinsically linked because 1) disturbances directly affect forest productivity (e.g. via a reduction in leaf area, growing stock or resource-use efficiency), and 2) disturbance susceptibility is often coupled to a certain development phase of the forest with productivity determining the time a forest is in this specific phase of susceptibility. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of forest productivity changes in different forest regions in Europe under climate change, and partition these changes into effects induced by climate change alone and by climate change and disturbances. We present projections of climate change impacts on forest productivity from state-of-the-art forest models that dynamically simulate forest productivity and the effects of the main European disturbance agents (fire, storm, insects), driven by the same climate scenario in seven forest case studies along a large climatic gradient throughout Europe. Our study shows that, in most cases, including disturbances in the simulations exaggerate ongoing productivity declines or cancel out productivity gains in response to climate change. In fewer cases, disturbances also increase productivity or buffer climate-change induced productivity losses, e.g. because low severity fires can alleviate resource competition and increase fertilization. Even though our results cannot simply be extrapolated to other types of forests and disturbances, we argue that it is necessary to interpret climate change-induced productivity and disturbance changes jointly to capture the full range of climate change impacts on forests and to plan adaptation measures.
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