Pervasive Growth Reduction in Norway Spruce Forests following Wind DisturbanceReportar como inadecuado

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In recent decades the frequency and severity of natural disturbances by e.g., strong winds and insect outbreaks has increased considerably in many forest ecosystems around the world. Future climate change is expected to further intensify disturbance regimes, which makes addressing disturbances in ecosystem management a top priority. As a prerequisite a broader understanding of disturbance impacts and ecosystem responses is needed. With regard to the effects of strong winds – the most detrimental disturbance agent in Europe – monitoring and management has focused on structural damage, i.e., tree mortality from uprooting and stem breakage. Effects on the functioning of trees surviving the storm e.g., their productivity and allocation have been rarely accounted for to date.

Methodology-Principal Findings

Here we show that growth reduction was significant and pervasive in a 6.79·million hectare forest landscape in southern Sweden following the storm Gudrun January 2005. Wind-related growth reduction in Norway spruce Picea abies L. Karst. forests surviving the storm exceeded 10% in the worst hit regions, and was closely related to maximum gust wind speed R2 = 0.849 and structural wind damage R2 = 0.782. At the landscape scale, wind-related growth reduction amounted to 3.0 million m3 in the three years following Gudrun. It thus exceeds secondary damage from bark beetles after Gudrun as well as the long-term average storm damage from uprooting and stem breakage in Sweden.


We conclude that the impact of strong winds on forest ecosystems is not limited to the immediately visible area of structural damage, and call for a broader consideration of disturbance effects on ecosystem structure and functioning in the context of forest management and climate change mitigation.

Autor: Rupert Seidl, Kristina Blennow



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