Expected impacts of climate change on forests: Czech Republic as a case study

https://doi.org/10.17221/103/2010-JFSCitation:Hlásny T., Holuša J., Štěpánek P., Turčáni M., Polčák N. (2011):  Expected impacts of climate change on forests: Czech Republic as a case study. J. For. Sci., 57: 422-431.
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  We provide fundamental information about the future development of selected climate elements in relation to anticipated threat to forests in the Czech Republic. All analyses were carried out in relation to four elevation zones with specific potential forest vegetation – up to 350 m a.s.l. (oak dominance), 350–600 m a.s.l. (beech dominance), 600–900 m a.s.l. (beech-fir dominance), 900–1,100 m a.s.l. (spruce dominance). We found out that while the projected increase in mean annual air temperature is almost constant over the Czech Republic (+3.25–3.5°C in the distant future), the frequency of heat spells at lower elevations is expected to increase dramatically compared to higher elevations. The precipitation totals during the vegetation season are projected to increase in the near future by up to 10% and to decrease in the distant future by up to 10% over all vegetation zones. In general, drought is presumed to become a key limiting factor at lower elevations, while increased temperature along with the prolonged vegetation season at higher elevations can be beneficial to forest vegetation. Consequently, northward progression of forest tree species and retraction of the species lower distribution range are a generic response pattern. Such impacts are presumed to be accompanied by changes in the distribution and population dynamics of pests and pathogens. Mainly the impacts on two key forest pests, Ips typographus and Lymantria dispar, are discussed.  

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