A quantitative assessment of mid-term risks of global change on forests in Western Mediterranean Europe

Gil-Tena A., Morán-Ordóñez A., Comas L., Retana J., Vayreda J., Brotons L. (2019) A quantitative assessment of mid-term risks of global change on forests in Western Mediterranean Europe. Regional Environmental Change. 19: 819-831.
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Doi: 10.1007/s10113-018-1437-0

Resum:

Assessment of potential forests’ threats due to multiple global change components is urgently needed since increasing exposure to them could undermine their future persistence. We aim to assess the risks to the persistence of monospecific forests in Western Mediterranean Europe posed by climate change, fire, and land-use changes (i.e., deforestation) in the short and medium terms (horizon 2040). We specifically evaluate whether the degree of risk related to the likelihood of hazard occurrence varies depending on seral stage, tree species, and climate gradients. We performed the risk assessment on forests of Catalonia (NE Spain) through a combination of correlative and process-based modeling approaches and future global change scenarios. Overall, climate suitability of forests showed a general decrease by 2040, with the exception of xeric Pinus halepensis forests mainly distributed in the driest climate of the study area. Forest stands dominated by low drought-tolerant species were at higher risk of losing climatic suitability than forests dominated by Mediterranean species. The highest fire and deforestation risks were predicted for forest stands in dry climate where human pressures are higher. Nevertheless, high deforestation risk was also attained outside the driest areas. Deforestation risk was lower in old-growth than in younger stands, whereas old-growth forests in the Wet climate or dominated by Pinus sylvestris were projected to be at higher fire risk than younger forests. Our results suggest that conservation actions should target forest stands in dry climate. Moreover, old-growth forest stands should also be prioritized due to their particular sensitivity to disturbances and their high ecological value. © 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

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Inventario de bosques singulares de Catalunya.

Gracia M, Comas L, Vayreda J, Ibàñez JJ, Batlles C, Regalado I (2009) Inventario de bosques singulares de Catalunya. V congreso forestal Español.

Species richness and wood production: A positive association in Mediterranean forests

Vilà M., Vayreda J., Comas L., Ibáñez J.J., Mata T., Obón B. (2007) Species richness and wood production: A positive association in Mediterranean forests. Ecology Letters. 10: 241-250.
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Doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01016.x

Resum:

A major debate in the study of biodiversity concerns its influence on ecosystem functioning. We compared whether wood production in forests was associated with tree functional group identity (i.e. deciduous, conifer or sclerophylous), tree species richness (1-≥ 5) and tree functional group richness (1-3) by comparing more than 5000 permanent plots distributed across Catalonia (NE Spain). Deciduous forests were more productive than coniferous and sclerophylous forests. Wood production increased with tree species richness. However, functional group richness increased wood production only in sclerophylous forests. When other forest structure, environmental variables and management practices were included in the analysis, tree functional group identity and species richness still remained significant, while functional species richness did not. Our survey indicates that across a regional scale, and across a broad range of environmental conditions, a significant positive association exists between local tree species richness and wood production at least in typical early successional Mediterranean-type forests. © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

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