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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Dolos, K*; Reineking, B: Forest disturbances under climate change: Interactions of bark beetle outbreaks with fire, windthrow and drought
Poster, BayCEER Workshop 2010, Bayreuth: 2010-04-15

Forests provide multiple ecosystem goods and services such as timber, freshwater, clean air and biodiversity. The main forest disturbances bark beetles, fire, windthrow and drought are key factors influencing ecosystem services by modifying stand structure and species composition. Climate change is expected to affect these disturbance regimes, both through changes in mean values of e.g. temperature and precipitation, and through an increase in extreme events. To assess the future development of forest ecosystems and the associated risks and opportunities, the disturbance regimes and their mutual interactions have to be considered. In this project we aim to assess those mutual interactions, with a focus on bark beetle outbreaks as a biotic disturbance regime, because they are of socio-economic relevance, and because the life history of bark beetles is sensitive to temperature and therefore susceptible to climatic change. Further, the population dynamics of bark beetles is assumed to be linked to other disturbances that will alter as well, rendering estimates of climate change impacts on shifts of severity and frequency of bark beetle outbreaks particularly challenging. We adopt a process-based modelling approach. Modelling is a useful tool to increase the system knowledge, test general concepts as well as to make assumptions about future developments. Based on a conceptual framework of forest disturbance interactions derived from a literature review we choose a process based model that includes environment dependent forest growth and the main forest disturbances fire, windthrow, drought and spruce beetles at the landscape scale.
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