Title: Vulnerability of Pinus Cembra L. in the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains under Present and Future Climates
Citation: FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT vol. 259 no. 4 p. 750-761
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC55074
ISSN: 0378-1127
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC55074
DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.10.001
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Proactive management should be applied within a forest conservation context to prevent extinction or degradation of those forest ecosystems that we suspect will be a¿ected by global warming in the next century. The aim of this study is to estimate the vulnerability under climate change of a localized and endemic tree species Pinus cembra that occurs in the alpine timberline. We used the Random Forest ensemble classi¿er and available bioclimatic and ecological data to model present and future suitable areas for Pinus cembra and estimate its current and future vulnerability. Future projections for years 2020, 2050 and 2080 were simulated using two IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios run under four global climate models. The suitability model described the optimal environmental conditions for Pinus cembra. Model scores (¿=0.77, sensitivity =0.99 and speci¿city =0.80) are robust. The main factors de¿ning the model were Kira¿s warmth index and summer temperatures. Results show that there is potential for Pinus cembra to regenerate and persist in currently suitable areas. Future trends analysis suggested a cumulated mean loss of suitable areas of between 53% and 72% for di¿erent scenarios. All modeled projections predicted an upslope shift of the optimally suitable Pinus cembra belt and no downslope shift. We discuss environmental factors/plant interactions, the theoretical assumptions behind the model, model strengths and limitations, and we highlight the conservative traits of our analysis. The results suggest that forest management practices will play a fundamental role in the conservation of Pinus cembra habitats in the Alps.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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