What is the potential of silver fir to thrive under warmer and drier climate?

Vitasse, Yann; Bottero, Alessandra; Rebetez, Martine; Conedera, Marco; Augustin, Sabine; Brang, Peter; Tinner, Willy (2019). What is the potential of silver fir to thrive under warmer and drier climate? European journal of forest research, 138(4), pp. 547-560. Springer 10.1007/s10342-019-01192-4

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Foresters from many countries are seeking for tree species or provenances able to cope with expected climate change. While it becomes clear that some temperate tree species will increasingly suffer from climate warming, the fate of the ecologically and economically important silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) remains uncertain and debated because the ecological requirements of this species, as well as its resilience to drought, are still unclear. On the one hand, paleoecological studies reveal that this species was widely distributed under much warmer climate, suggesting a high potential to cope with ongoing and future climate warming. On the other hand, species distribution models generally predict a strong decline of its climatic suitability in the future. This paper aims to clarify the potential of this species to thrive in central and western Europe under predicted climate warming by reviewing the knowledge gained from different fields. Based on insight from different fields, we argue that silver fir has a great potential to thrive under warmer conditions in western and central Europe provided sufficient rainfall, as forecasted by climate models for most regions by 2100. For instance, dendroecological studies demonstrate that silver fir is more resistant and resilient to drought compared to co-occurring species such as Norway spruce, European beech and larch. The most prominent obstacle for increasing the proportion of fir in mixed forests nowadays is ungulate browsing that often prevents its upgrowth.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1612-4669

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2019 08:20

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 07:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10342-019-01192-4

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Climate warming; Dendroecology; Drought; European forests; Paleoecology; Abies alba

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.132332

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/132332

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