Participatory modelling of upward shifts of altitudinal vegetation belts for assessing site type transformation in Swiss forests due to climate change

Zischg, Andreas Paul; Frehner, Monika; Gubelmann, Päivi; Augustin, Sabine; Brang, Peter; Huber, Barbara (2021). Participatory modelling of upward shifts of altitudinal vegetation belts for assessing site type transformation in Swiss forests due to climate change. Applied Vegetation Science, 24(4) Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/avsc.12621

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Aims

Climate change is expected to markedly change site factors, tree species composition and finally ecosystem services provided by forests. Here, we describe the development of a framework for modelling how these changes may transform forest site types. Site types capture information on site conditions like climate, topography and soil, all factors with strong influence on tree species occurrence.

Location

Switzerland.

Methods

We elicited expert knowledge and followed a participatory modelling approach for quantifying upward shifts of altitudinal vegetation belts and the changes in the zonal distribution of main tree species, as a basis for assessing transformation pathways of forest site types for three climate projections.

Results

The model results show marked range shifts of altitudinal vegetation belts. The change in the vegetation belt and a rule base for forest site type transformations allow for assessing the location-specific and long-term transformation pathway from the current to a future forest site type.

Conclusions

The resulting maps enable forest managers to take climate change into account when selecting tree species. The presented method complements statistical distribution models as it considers more site information, integrates expert knowledge and is based on a forest site type classification which is already widely used by forest practitioners.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Geomorphology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Zischg, Andreas Paul

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

1402-2001

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Mira Maria Schär

Date Deposited:

02 Dec 2021 07:46

Last Modified:

14 Dec 2021 10:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/avsc.12621

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/161552

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/161552

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