Main content area

Modelling of Climate Conditions in Forest Vegetation Zones as a Support Tool for Forest Management Strategy in European Beech Dominated Forests

Machar, Ivo, Vlckova, Veronika, Bucek, Antonin, Vozenilek, Vit, Salek, Lubomir, Jerabkova, Lucie
Forests 2017 v.8 no.3
Fagus sylvatica subsp. sylvatica, altitude, climate change, climatic factors, computer software, forest ecosystems, forest management, forests, geographic information systems, geographical distribution, landscapes, models, sustainable forestry, temperate zones, trees, Czech Republic
The regional effects of climate change on forest ecosystems in the temperate climate zone of Europe can be modelled as shifts of forest vegetation zones in the landscape, northward and to higher elevations. This study applies a biogeographical model of climate conditions in the forest vegetation zones of the Central European landscape, in order to predict the impact of future climate change on the most widespread tree species in European deciduous forests—the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). The biogeographical model is supported by a suite of software applications in the GIS environment. The model outputs are defined as a set of conditions - climate scenario A1B by the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) for a forecast period, for a specified geographical area and with ecological conditions appropriate for the European beech, which provide regional scenarios for predicted future climatic conditions in the context of the European beech’s environmental requirements. These predicted changes can be graphically visualized. The results of the model scenarios for regional climate change show that in the Czech Republic from 2070 onwards, optimal growing conditions for the European beech will only exist in some parts of those areas where it currently occurs naturally. Based on these results, it is highly recommended that the national strategy for sustainable forest management in the Czech Republic be partly re-evaluated. Thus, the presented biogeographical model of climate conditions in forest vegetation zones can be applied, not only to generate regional scenarios of climate change in the landscape, but also as a support tool for the development of a sustainable forest management strategy.