Influences of Climate Change on Range Limits and Distribution of Trees and Forests

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Biodiversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2022) | Viewed by 22299

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Plant Science & Biodiversity Center of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, SK-845 23, Bratislava, Slovakia
Interests: biodiversity; ecology and evolution; climate change; conservation; ecotones; biodiversity monitoring; remote sensing; vegetation
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Guest Editor
School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
Interests: biotic factors; climate change; biomass accumulation; tree-ring; wood anatomy; forest growth; forest dynamics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Many biotic and abiotic factors drive the distributional ranges of plant species. The climatic factors, such as precipitation and temperature, significantly control the tree species. Recently, due to exposure to the consequences of ongoing weather abnormalities, the biodiversity crisis and climate change are intrinsically linked, showing unprecedented biota shifts. This accelerates the destruction of the natural world through increasing droughts, flooding, and wildfires, while the loss and unsustainable use of nature are, in turn, critical drivers of climate change and biodiversity loss. We encourage authors to focus on the distributional pattern of trees and subsequent habitats to explain the consequences of climate change on their boundary limits and ecotonal transitions.

Dr. Jozef Šibík
Prof. Dr. Flurin Babst
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Climate niche
  • Disturbances
  • Ecotone
  • Invasive species
  • Functional traits
  • Range shifts
  • Timberline

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 2656 KiB  
Article
Population Variability of Almond-Leaved Willow (Salix triandra L.) Based on the Leaf Morphometry: Isolation by Distance and Environment Explain Phenotypic Diversity
by Katarina Tumpa, Zlatko Šatović, Antonio Vidaković, Marilena Idžojtić, Rudolf Stipetić and Igor Poljak
Forests 2022, 13(3), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030420 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2669
Abstract
Almond-leaved willow (Salix triandra L., Salicaceae) is a dioecious shrub, rarely a small tree that grows under various environmental conditions. We examined the population structure of 12 populations of almond-leaved willow using nine leaf morphological traits and specific leaf area. Populations were [...] Read more.
Almond-leaved willow (Salix triandra L., Salicaceae) is a dioecious shrub, rarely a small tree that grows under various environmental conditions. We examined the population structure of 12 populations of almond-leaved willow using nine leaf morphological traits and specific leaf area. Populations were selected from a range of habitats, from continental to the sub-Mediterranean zone, to examine the influence of environmental conditions (climate and altitude) and geographic distance on leaf variability. Significant differences were confirmed among all populations for all traits, with significant correlations between geographic location of populations and morphological traits, and between environmental conditions and morphological traits. Large-leaved populations were found in continental and sub-Mediterranean climates, while small-leaved populations were found in higher elevations and smaller karstic rivers. In addition, populations from floodplains showed greater variability than populations from the karstic habitats, indicating a positive influence of lowland habitats and possible underlying differences in gene pool size. In conclusion, we found that environmental conditions and geographical distances in addition to genetic drift, are the main influences on the variability in almond-leaved willow, with the species showing a high level of plasticity and adaptation to local environmental conditions. Full article
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12 pages, 15456 KiB  
Article
Reconstruction of the Expansion of Siberian Larch into the Mountain Tundra in the Polar Urals in the 20th—Early 21st Centuries
by Valery Fomin, Anna Mikhailovich, Dmitry Golikov and Egor Agapitov
Forests 2022, 13(3), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030419 - 6 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2240
Abstract
This paper presents results of analyzing the second half of the 20th–early 21st century changes in lateral spatial structure of Larix sibirica Ledeb. population in the upper treeline ecotone located on the Rai-Iz massif (Polar Urals, Russia). The GIS layers characterizing distribution of [...] Read more.
This paper presents results of analyzing the second half of the 20th–early 21st century changes in lateral spatial structure of Larix sibirica Ledeb. population in the upper treeline ecotone located on the Rai-Iz massif (Polar Urals, Russia). The GIS layers characterizing distribution of Siberian larch trees and undergrowth together with their crowns was produced for a 7.32 square kilometer area based on aerial images recognition. Using statistical models, we assessed probabilities for assigning trees to age intervals of 1–10, 11–40, and 40+ years based on the average radius of tree crown projection. These maps and layer showing locations of trees that grew in the upper part of the ecotone, and died during the Little Ice Age, allow for assessing specifics of forest cover proliferation at different parts of upper treeline ecotone, and comparing current location of the trees with one from the past. The proposed method for probability-based recognition of Siberian larch tree generations in the upper treeline ecotone using average crown radius can be used to reconstruct time and spatial forest dynamics at the upper growth boundaries for time spans up to 100 years and more. Full article
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14 pages, 3366 KiB  
Article
Maxent Modelling Predicts a Shift in Suitable Habitats of a Subtropical Evergreen Tree (Cyclobalanopsis glauca (Thunberg) Oersted) under Climate Change Scenarios in China
by Lijuan Zhang, Lianqi Zhu, Yanhong Li, Wenbo Zhu and Yingyong Chen
Forests 2022, 13(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13010126 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3522
Abstract
Climate change has caused substantial shifts in the geographical distribution of many species. There is growing evidence that many species are migrating in response to climate change. Changes in the distribution of dominant tree species induced by climate change can have an impact [...] Read more.
Climate change has caused substantial shifts in the geographical distribution of many species. There is growing evidence that many species are migrating in response to climate change. Changes in the distribution of dominant tree species induced by climate change can have an impact not only on organisms such as epiphytes and understory vegetation, but also on the whole ecosystem. Cyclobalanopsis glauca is a dominant tree species in the mingled evergreen and deciduous broadleaf forests of China. Understanding their adaptive strategies against climate change is important for understanding the future community structure. We employed the Maxent framework to model current suitable habitats of C. glauca under current climate conditions and predicted it onto the climate scenarios for 2041–2060 and 2081–2100 using 315 occurrence data. Our results showed that annual precipitation was the most critical factor for the distribution of C. glauca. In the future, increasing precipitation would reduce the limitation of water on habitats, leading to an expansion of the distribution to a higher latitude and higher altitude. At the same time, there were habitat contractions at the junction of the Jiangxi and Fujian Provinces. This study can provide vital information for the management of C. glauca, and serve as a reminder for managers to protect C. glauca in the range contraction areas. Full article
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25 pages, 6693 KiB  
Article
Continent-Wide Tree Species Distribution Models May Mislead Regional Management Decisions: A Case Study in the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube
by Markus Sallmannshofer, Debojyoti Chakraborty, Harald Vacik, Gábor Illés, Markus Löw, Andreas Rechenmacher, Katharina Lapin, Sophie Ette, Dejan Stojanović, Andrej Kobler and Silvio Schueler
Forests 2021, 12(3), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030330 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3218
Abstract
The understanding of spatial distribution patterns of native riparian tree species in Europe lacks accurate species distribution models (SDMs), since riparian forest habitats have a limited spatial extent and are strongly related to the associated watercourses, which needs to be represented in the [...] Read more.
The understanding of spatial distribution patterns of native riparian tree species in Europe lacks accurate species distribution models (SDMs), since riparian forest habitats have a limited spatial extent and are strongly related to the associated watercourses, which needs to be represented in the environmental predictors. However, SDMs are urgently needed for adapting forest management to climate change, as well as for conservation and restoration of riparian forest ecosystems. For such an operative use, standard large-scale bioclimatic models alone are too coarse and frequently exclude relevant predictors. In this study, we compare a bioclimatic continent-wide model and a regional model based on climate, soil, and river data for central to south-eastern Europe, targeting seven riparian foundation species—Alnus glutinosa, Fraxinus angustifolia, F. excelsior, Populus nigra, Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis, and U. minor. The results emphasize the high importance of precise occurrence data and environmental predictors. Soil predictors were more important than bioclimatic variables, and river variables were partly of the same importance. In both models, five of the seven species were found to decrease in terms of future occurrence probability within the study area, whereas the results for two species were ambiguous. Nevertheless, both models predicted a dangerous loss of occurrence probability for economically and ecologically important tree species, likely leading to significant effects on forest composition and structure, as well as on provided ecosystem services. Full article
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15 pages, 3501 KiB  
Article
Dynamics of Carbon Accumulation in Tropical Dry Forests under Climate Change Extremes
by Sofia Calvo-Rodriguez, G. Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa, Sandra M. Durán, Mario Marcos Do Espírito-Santo and Yule Roberta Ferreira Nunes
Forests 2021, 12(1), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12010106 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4546
Abstract
We analyze here how much carbon is being accumulated annually by secondary tropical dry forests (TDFs) and how structure, composition, time since abandonment, and climate can influence the dynamics of forest carbon accumulation. The study was carried out in Santa Rosa National Park [...] Read more.
We analyze here how much carbon is being accumulated annually by secondary tropical dry forests (TDFs) and how structure, composition, time since abandonment, and climate can influence the dynamics of forest carbon accumulation. The study was carried out in Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste province, Costa Rica and Mata Seca State Park in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Total carbon storage and carbon accumulation were obtained for both sites from the sum of the aboveground carbon and belowground carbon gain plus the annual litterfall. Carbon accumulation of these TDFs varied from 2.6 Mg C ha−1 y−1 to 6.3 Mg C ha−1 y−1, depending on the age of the forest stands. Time since abandonment and number of stems per plot were the best predictors for carbon storage, annual carbon gains, and losses. Mortality rates and carbon losses were also associated with seasonal climate variability. We found significant correlations between tree mortality, carbon losses and mean seasonal temperature, mean seasonal precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, and the Oceanic Niño Index. Carbon dynamics in tropical dry forests are driven by time since abandonment and forest structure; however, rising temperature and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events can have a significant impact on tree mortality and carbon losses. Depending on their location and land-use history, some dry forests are more impacted by climatic extremes than others, and differences between secondary stages are expected. Full article
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19 pages, 2626 KiB  
Article
Impact of Precipitation and Temperature Variability of the East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) on Annual Radial Increment of Selected Tree Species in Northeast China
by Sandra-Maria Hipler, Benedikt Speicher, Lars Sprengel, Hans-Peter Kahle, Heinrich Spiecker and Shuirong Wu
Forests 2020, 11(10), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11101093 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5064
Abstract
A dendroclimatological approach was used to analyze growth responses of the tree species Pinus tabuliformis Carr., Larix gmelinii Rupr., Picea asperata Mast. and Quercus mongolica Fisch. ex Ledeb. in a region of temperate climate in Northeast China. Annual radial increment (ARI) measurements from [...] Read more.
A dendroclimatological approach was used to analyze growth responses of the tree species Pinus tabuliformis Carr., Larix gmelinii Rupr., Picea asperata Mast. and Quercus mongolica Fisch. ex Ledeb. in a region of temperate climate in Northeast China. Annual radial increment (ARI) measurements from stem cross-sections were used to identify the effects of precipitation, air temperature and standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) on tree growth under monsoon-related conditions. We analyzed the ARI of 144 trees from 49 forest stands and applied response function and moving correlation analysis as well as a linear mixed-effects model to detect climate signal in the tree-ring series. Analyses of climate-growth relations confirmed the influence of monsoon intensities on ARI, especially in the months of May to July of the current year. Particularly in times of a weak monsoon, the preceding autumn months significantly affect the ARI. The positive effect of precipitation in times of a strong monsoon and the negative effect of air temperature-indicating increased evapotranspiration-in times of a weak monsoon alternate. An increase in drought sensitivity of the ARI was found, especially after long dry periods. The results revealed for L. gmelinii the highest climate sensitivity, with ARI more strongly influenced by precipitation in the monsoon-related months, whereas Q. mongolica was most drought tolerant and recovered quicker after growth depression. P. asperata and P. tabuliformis were located in between. Our findings provide evidence for a strong influence of the periodically fluctuating monsoon intensities on the ARI of all investigated tree species. Our results support decision-making for forest management under anticipated climate change, especially for tree species selection, in the climate sensitive region of Northeast China. Full article
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