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Borbála Gálos, Andreas Hänsler, Georg Kindermann, Diana Rechid, Kevin Sieck and Daniela Jacob

Abstract

- A regional-scale case study has been carried out to assess the possible climatic benefits of forest cover increase in Europe. For the end of the 21st century (2071-2090) it has been investigated, whether the projected climate change could be reduced assuming potential afforestation of the continent. The magnitude of the biogeophysical effects of enhanced forest cover on temperature and precipitation means and extremes have been analyzed relative to the magnitude of the climate change signal applying the regional climate model REMO. The simulation results indicate that in the largest part of the temperate zone potential afforestation may reduce the projected climate change through cooler and moister conditions, thus could contribute to the mitigation of the projected climate change for the entire summer period. The largest relative effect of forest cover increase can be expected in northern Germany, Poland and Ukraine. Here, the projected precipitation decrease could be fully compensated, the temperature increase could be relieved by up to 0.5 °C, and the probability of extremely warm and dry days could be reduced. Results can help to identify the areas, where forest cover increase could be the most effective from climatic point of view. Thus they can build an important basis of the future adaptation strategies and forest policy.

Open access

Norbert Móricz, Ervin Rasztovits, Borbála Gálos, Imre Berki, Attila Eredics and Wolfgang Loibl

Abstract

The potential distribution and composition rate of beech, sessile oak and Turkey oak were investigated for present and future climates (2036-2065 and 2071-2100) in Hungary. Membership functions were defined using the current composition rate (percentage of cover in forest compartments) of the tree species and the long-term climate expressed by the Ellenberg quotient to model the present and future tree species distribution and composition rate. The simulation results using the regional climate model REMO showed significant decline of beech and sessile oak in Hungary during the 21st century. By the middle of the century only about 35% of the present beech and 75% of the sessile oak stands will remain above their current potential distribution limit. By the end of the century beech forests may almost disappear from Hungary and sessile oak will also be found only along the Southwest border and in higher mountain regions. On the contrary the present occurrences of Turkey oak will be almost entirely preserved during the century however its distribution area will shift to the current sessile oak habitats.