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Journal Articles Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters Year : 1991

The possible dynamic response of Northern forests to global warming

I. Colin Prentice
Wolfgang Cramer

Abstract

Increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere are expected to produce maximum warming in high latitudes, displacing the potential boreal forest zone of the northern hemisphere far to the north. We analyse the implications of this shift for forest composition and biomass dynamics across the present-day boreonemoral zone in Scandinavia, using a forest succession model that includes a generalized disturbance regime and realistic climatic effects on species' regeneration and growth. Temperature increases in the range of 2-4 K in summer and 5-6 K in winter, typical of simulated CO2 doubling effects, force the boreonemoral zone >1000 km northward from central Sweden where dominance passes from Picea (spruce) to Fagus (beech), Quercus (oak) and Pinus (pine) over 150-200 years. Simulated increases of 175-250 mm in annual precipitation are required to counteract drought, which would otherwise reduce forest biomass and increase the representation of the more drought-tolerant species. The simulated forest dynamics are the net result of individualistic responses of species to different aspects of climate, modulated by successional processes that are on the same time scale as human impacts on climate.
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Dates and versions

hal-01788311 , version 1 (10-09-2022)

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I. Colin Prentice, Martin Sykes, Wolfgang Cramer. The possible dynamic response of Northern forests to global warming. Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters, 1991, 1 (5), pp.129-135. ⟨10.2307/2997426⟩. ⟨hal-01788311⟩

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