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Climate change impacts on long-term forest productivity might be driven by species turnover rather than by changes in tree growth

García-Valdés, Raúl ; Estrada, Alba ; Early, Regan ; Lehsten, Veiko LU and Morin, Xavier (2020) In Global Ecology and Biogeography 29(8). p.1360-1372
Abstract

Aim: Climate change impacts forest functioning and services through two inter-related effects. First, it impacts tree growth, with effects, for example, on biomass production. Second, climate change also reshuffles community composition, with further effects on forest functioning. However, the relative importance of these two effects has rarely been studied. Here, we developed a new modelling approach to investigate these relative importances for forest productivity. Location: Eleven forest sites in central Europe. Time period: Historical (1990) and end-of-21st-century climate-like conditions. We simulated 2,000 years of forest dynamics for each set of conditions. Major taxa studied: Twenty-five common tree species in... (More)

Aim: Climate change impacts forest functioning and services through two inter-related effects. First, it impacts tree growth, with effects, for example, on biomass production. Second, climate change also reshuffles community composition, with further effects on forest functioning. However, the relative importance of these two effects has rarely been studied. Here, we developed a new modelling approach to investigate these relative importances for forest productivity. Location: Eleven forest sites in central Europe. Time period: Historical (1990) and end-of-21st-century climate-like conditions. We simulated 2,000 years of forest dynamics for each set of conditions. Major taxa studied: Twenty-five common tree species in European temperate forests. Methods: We coupled species distribution models and a forest succession model, working at complementary spatial and temporal scales, to simulate the climatic filtering that shapes potential tree species pools, the biotic filtering that shapes realized communities and the functioning of these realized communities in the long-term. Results: Under an average temperature increase (relative to 1901–1990) of between 1.5 and 1.7 °C, changes in simulated forest productivity were caused mostly by changes in the growth of persisting tree species. With an average temperature increase of 3.6–4.0 °C, changes in simulated productivity at sites that currently have a mild climate were again caused predominantly by changes in tree species growth. However, at the warmest and coldest sites, changes in productivity were related mostly to shifts in species composition. In general, at the coldest sites, forest productivity is likely to be enhanced by climate change, whereas at the warmest sites the productivity might increase or decrease depending on the future precipitation regime. Main conclusions: A combination of two complementary modelling approaches that address questions at the interface between biogeography, community ecology and ecosystem functioning, reveals that climate change-driven community reshuffling in the long term might be crucially important for ecosystem functioning.

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organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
climate change, forest community composition, forest succession modelling, species distribution modelling, species range shifts, temperate forests, tree growth, tree species richness
in
Global Ecology and Biogeography
volume
29
issue
8
pages
13 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85084413319
ISSN
1466-822X
DOI
10.1111/geb.13112
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
34d1ee79-5d95-47e2-8299-91788dc7cc0e
date added to LUP
2020-05-27 12:46:39
date last changed
2020-12-29 03:32:58
@article{34d1ee79-5d95-47e2-8299-91788dc7cc0e,
  abstract     = {<p>Aim: Climate change impacts forest functioning and services through two inter-related effects. First, it impacts tree growth, with effects, for example, on biomass production. Second, climate change also reshuffles community composition, with further effects on forest functioning. However, the relative importance of these two effects has rarely been studied. Here, we developed a new modelling approach to investigate these relative importances for forest productivity. Location: Eleven forest sites in central Europe. Time period: Historical (1990) and end-of-21<sup>st</sup>-century climate-like conditions. We simulated 2,000 years of forest dynamics for each set of conditions. Major taxa studied: Twenty-five common tree species in European temperate forests. Methods: We coupled species distribution models and a forest succession model, working at complementary spatial and temporal scales, to simulate the climatic filtering that shapes potential tree species pools, the biotic filtering that shapes realized communities and the functioning of these realized communities in the long-term. Results: Under an average temperature increase (relative to 1901–1990) of between 1.5 and 1.7 °C, changes in simulated forest productivity were caused mostly by changes in the growth of persisting tree species. With an average temperature increase of 3.6–4.0 °C, changes in simulated productivity at sites that currently have a mild climate were again caused predominantly by changes in tree species growth. However, at the warmest and coldest sites, changes in productivity were related mostly to shifts in species composition. In general, at the coldest sites, forest productivity is likely to be enhanced by climate change, whereas at the warmest sites the productivity might increase or decrease depending on the future precipitation regime. Main conclusions: A combination of two complementary modelling approaches that address questions at the interface between biogeography, community ecology and ecosystem functioning, reveals that climate change-driven community reshuffling in the long term might be crucially important for ecosystem functioning.</p>},
  author       = {García-Valdés, Raúl and Estrada, Alba and Early, Regan and Lehsten, Veiko and Morin, Xavier},
  issn         = {1466-822X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {1360--1372},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Global Ecology and Biogeography},
  title        = {Climate change impacts on long-term forest productivity might be driven by species turnover rather than by changes in tree growth},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geb.13112},
  doi          = {10.1111/geb.13112},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2020},
}