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Selection: with tag disturbances [120 articles] 


Tree diversity reduces pest damage in mature forests across Europe

Biology Letters, Vol. 12, No. 4. (27 April 2016), 20151037,


Forest pest damage is expected to increase with global change. Tree diversity could mitigate this impact, but unambiguous demonstration of the diversity–resistance relationship is lacking in semi-natural mature forests. We used a network of 208 forest plots sampled along two orthogonal gradients of increasing tree species richness and latitudes to assess total tree defoliation in Europe. We found a positive relationship between tree species richness and resistance to insect herbivores: overall damage to broadleaved species significantly decreased with the number of ...


Risk of post-fire metal mobilization into surface water resources: a review

Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 599-600 (December 2017), pp. 1740-1755,


[Highlights] [::] Forest catchment supply high quality water to a number of communities around the world. [::] Forest fire release sequestered metals from soil organic matter and vegetation. [::] Post-fire erosion rapidly transports these metals to downstream soil and water bodies. [::] Their deposition in the water bodies affects the water quality and aquatic biota. [::] This metal contamination may reach to human being as a consumer. [Abstract] One of the significant economic benefits to communities around the world of having pristine forest catchments is the supply of ...


At the nexus of fire, water and society

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 371, No. 1696. (23 May 2016), 20150172,


The societal risks of water scarcity and water-quality impairment have received considerable attention, evidenced by recent analyses of these topics by the 2030 Water Resources Group, the United Nations and the World Economic Forum. What are the effects of fire on the predicted water scarcity and declines in water quality? Drinking water supplies for humans, the emphasis of this exploration, are derived from several land cover types, including forests, grasslands and peatlands, which are vulnerable to fire. In the last two ...


A global index for mapping the exposure of water resources to wildfire

Forests, Vol. 7, No. 1. (13 January 2016), 22,


Wildfires are keystone components of natural disturbance regimes that maintain ecosystem structure and functions, such as the hydrological cycle, in many parts of the world. Consequently, critical surface freshwater resources can be exposed to post-fire effects disrupting their quantity, quality and regularity. Although well studied at the local scale, the potential extent of these effects has not been examined at the global scale. We take the first step toward a global assessment of the wildfire water risk (WWR) by presenting a ...


Effects of habitat disturbance on tropical forest biodiversity

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 23. (06 June 2017), pp. 6056-6061,


[Significance] Biologists believe that a major mass extinction is happening in the tropics. Destruction of forests is a key reason. However, there are no solid predictions of the percentage of species that will go extinct as more and more forests are disturbed. This paper provides estimates based on extrapolating the respective numbers of species in disturbed and undisturbed habitats. It uses a large global database of species inventories at particular sites. Trees and 10 groups of animals are analyzed. All the disturbed ...


Can the use of continuous cover forestry alone maintain silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in central European mountain forests?

Forestry, Vol. 89, No. 4. (August 2016), pp. 412-421,


Chronic browsing and inappropriate stand management are often discussed as causes for recruitment failure of tree species in temperate mixed uneven-aged forests. Continuous cover forestry is thought to produce conditions that are conducive to the recruitment of native shade-tolerant and browse-sensitive tree species such as silver fir (Abies alba Mill.). This study used density-dependent matrix population models parameterized for three main types of fir forests in Europe (53 048 measured trees from 3183 permanent sample plots) to project the effects of ...


Managing alpine forests in a changing climate

In Management Strategies to Adapt Alpine Space Forests to Climate Change Risks (28 August 2013), pp. 369-383,
edited by Gillian Cerbu


[Excerpt: Introduction] There is mounting evidence that Alpine forest ecosystems will not be able to fully absorb the changes in site factors associated with climate change, such as higher temperatures, more intensive drought stress and associated biotic impacts since these changes exceed the adaptive capacity of the trees. The projected changes in temperature by 2.2 to 5.1 K from 1980 to 1999 to 2080 to 2099, for the A1B scenario in southern Europe [1], correspond to an altitudinal shift of 300 to ...

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Competition theory, evolution, and the concept of an ecological niche

Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 31, No. 3. (1982), pp. 165-179,


This article examines some of the main tenets of competition theory in light of the theory of evolution and the concept of an ecological niche. The principle of competitive exclusion and the related assumption that communities exist at competitive equilibrium - fundamental parts of many competition theories and models - may be violated if non-equilibrium conditions exist in natural communities or are incorporated into competition models. Furthermore, these two basic tenets of competition theory are not compatible with the theory of ...


Spatial vegetation patterns and imminent desertification in Mediterranean arid ecosystems

Nature, Vol. 449, No. 7159. (13 September 2007), pp. 213-217,


Humans and climate affect ecosystems and their services1, which may involve continuous and discontinuous transitions from one stable state to another2. Discontinuous transitions are abrupt, irreversible and among the most catastrophic changes of ecosystems identified1. For terrestrial ecosystems, it has been hypothesized that vegetation patchiness could be used as a signature of imminent transitions3, 4. Here, we analyse how vegetation patchiness changes in arid ecosystems with different grazing pressures, using both field data and a modelling approach. In the modelling approach, ...


Quaternary history and the stability of forest communities

In Forest Succession (1981), pp. 132-153,


The concept of stability of plant communities inevitably enters discussions of forest succession. Succession following disturbance often leads to restoration of the original community, which is seen as the equilibrium community for the site. In this context, succession can be viewed as a mechanism maintaining stability. ...


Adaptation, migration or extirpation: climate change outcomes for tree populations

Evolutionary Applications, Vol. 1, No. 1. (1 February 2008), pp. 95-111,


Species distribution models predict a wholesale redistribution of trees in the next century, yet migratory responses necessary to spatially track climates far exceed maximum post-glacial rates. The extent to which populations will adapt will depend upon phenotypic variation, strength of selection, fecundity, interspecific competition, and biotic interactions. Populations of temperate and boreal trees show moderate to strong clines in phenology and growth along temperature gradients, indicating substantial local adaptation. Traits involved in local adaptation appear to be the product of small ...


Sequential disturbance effects of hailstorm and fire on vegetation in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem

Ecosystems, Vol. 18, No. 7. (2015), pp. 1121-1134,


Frequency and intensity of disturbance is projected to increase for many ecosystems globally, with uncertain consequences, particularly when disturbances occur in rapid succession. We quantified community response (52 shrub species and the tree Eucalyptus todtiana) to a severe hailstorm followed 2 months later by prescribed fire for a Mediterranean-type shrubland in southwestern Australia. Partial overlap of hailstorm path and fire perimeter provided a unique opportunity to compare storm and fire effects along a storm severity gradient (high–moderate–none) with and without fire. ...


The status of our scientific understanding of lodgepole pine and mountain pine beetles - A focus on forest ecology and fire behavior

Global Fire Initiative technical report, Vol. 2008, No. 2. (2008), pp. 1-13


A synthesis of our current knowledge about the effects of the mountain pine beetle epidemic on lodgepole pine forests and fire behavior, with a geographic focus on Colorado and southern Wyoming. [Excerpt: Implications for future forests] Models for predicting future climates have progressed dramatically in recent years, but their accuracy is questionable for planning purposes, particularly at local levels. Nonetheless, model predictions suggest significant alterations in climate from past observed patterns. These predictions are supported by recent climate events that themselves had largely been predicted several years ago. Therefore, the potential ...


Vegetation response to a short interval between high-severity wildfires in a mixed-evergreen forest

Journal of Ecology, Vol. 97, No. 1. (January 2009), pp. 142-154,


[::] Variations in disturbance regime strongly influence ecosystem structure and function. A prominent form of such variation is when multiple high-severity wildfires occur in rapid succession (i.e. short-interval (SI) severe fires, or ‘re-burns’). These events have been proposed as key mechanisms altering successional rates and pathways. [::] We utilized a natural experiment afforded by two overlapping wildfires occurring within a 15-year interval in forests of the Klamath–Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon (USA). We tested for unique effects of a SI fire (15-year interval before ...


Unraveling the drivers of intensifying forest disturbance regimes in Europe

Global Change Biology, Vol. 17, No. 9. (September 2011), pp. 2842-2852,


Natural disturbances like wildfire, windthrow and insect outbreaks are critical drivers of composition, structure and functioning of forest ecosystems. They are strongly climate-sensitive, and are thus likely to be distinctly affected by climatic changes. Observations across Europe show that in recent decades, forest disturbance regimes have intensified markedly, resulting in a strong increase in damage from wind, bark beetles and wildfires. Climate change is frequently hypothesized as the main driving force behind this intensification, but changes in forest structure and composition ...


Interactions of landscape disturbances and climate change dictate ecological pattern and process: spatial modeling of wildfire, insect, and disease dynamics under future climates

Landscape Ecology (2016), pp. 1-13,


[Context] Interactions among disturbances, climate, and vegetation influence landscape patterns and ecosystem processes. Climate changes, exotic invasions, beetle outbreaks, altered fire regimes, and human activities may interact to produce landscapes that appear and function beyond historical analogs. [Objectives] We used the mechanistic ecosystem-fire process model FireBGCv2 to model interactions of wildland fire, mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), and white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) under current and future climates, across three diverse study areas. [Methods] We assessed changes in tree basal area as a measure of ...


Forest fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa 2015



This is the 16th issue of the EFFIS annual report on forest fires for the year 2015. This report is consolidated as highly appreciated documentation of the previous year's forest fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. In its different sections, the report includes information on the evolution of fire danger in the European and Mediterranean regions, the damage caused by fires and detailed description of the fire conditions during the 2015 fire campaign in the majority of countries in the EFFIS network The chapter ...


Harmonized classification scheme of fire causes in the EU adopted for the European Fire Database of EFFIS



The information on the causes of forest fires is of paramount importance to support the environmental and civil protection policies and design appropriate prevention measure. At the European level a simple common scheme with 4 fire causes classes (deliberate, accident/negligence, natural and unknown) has been used to record information on fire causes since 1992. European countries use national schemes which in most cases are much more detailed than the simple 4 common classes, but they are not harmonized and detailed cross ...


Changing the resilience paradigm

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 4, No. 6. (28 May 2014), pp. 407-409,


Resilience management goes beyond risk management to address the complexities of large integrated systems and the uncertainty of future threats, especially those associated with climate change. [Excerpt] In summary, risk analysis and risk management based on probabilistic quantitative methods have been widely adopted and have been useful for dealing with foreseeable and calculable stress situations. Benchmarks and thresholds for risk analysis are built into the regulations and policies of organizations and nations; however, this approach is no longer sufficient to address the ...


Natural hazards monitoring: forest fires, droughts and floods - The example of European pilot projects

Surveys in Geophysics, Vol. 21, No. 2-3. (2000), pp. 291-305,


This paper reviews the subject of natural hazards and the use of existing remote sensing systems in the different phases of disaster management for some specific natural hazards: forest fires, droughts and floods. It centers on the applicability of remote sensing for increasing preparedness, providing early warnings, monitoring the hazards in real time, and assessing the damage so that relief can be provided. Comparison of the information provided by existing systems and that needed for operational use of remote sensing in ...


Development of a framework for fire risk assessment using remote sensing and geographic information system technologies

Ecological Modelling, Vol. 221, No. 1. (10 January 2010), pp. 46-58,


Forest fires play a critical role in landscape transformation, vegetation succession, soil degradation and air quality. Improvements in fire risk estimation are vital to reduce the negative impacts of fire, either by lessen burn severity or intensity through fuel management, or by aiding the natural vegetation recovery using post-fire treatments. This paper presents the methods to generate the input variables and the risk integration developed within the Firemap project (funded under the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology) to map wildland ...


The Australian flammability monitoring system

In Brisbane 2016: annual conference (2016)


Live fuel moisture content (LFMC) is one of the primary variables affecting bushfire flammability. We have developed the first Australia-wide flammability monitoring system for operational prediction of LFMC and flammability using satellite data. [Excerpt: Conclusion and future work] [::] We developed the prototype of the first Australia-wide Flammability Monitoring System for operational prediction of LFMC and flammability using satellite observations. [::] LFMC is not the only variable that is related to fire occurrence, and therefore the importance of other factors (e.g. fire weather and ...


Curbing an onslaught of 2 billion cars



Nature could soon be imperiled by twice as many vehicles and enough new roads to encircle the planet more than 600 times. [Excerpt] By 2010, our planet had reached a remarkable milestone: one billion cars—or, to be precise, one billion motorized vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles but excluding off-road vehicles such as tractors and bulldozers. Of course, the overwhelming majority of these vehicles are powered by fossil fuels. And if that figure isn’t troubling enough, by 2030, it’s projected that ...


Anthropogenic disturbance and tree diversity in Montane Rain Forests in Chiapas, Mexico

Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 154, No. 1-2. (15 November 2001), pp. 311-326,


We studied the influence of anthropogenic disturbance on forest structure and composition in the highly populated Montane Rain Forests of northern Chiapas, Mexico. We evaluated species richness, basal area and stem density on 81 circular plots (0.1 ha each) along a categorical disturbance gradient due to forest extraction, livestock grazing, and fires. A total of 116 tree species (>5 cm DBH) were recorded in three major forest types recognized by TWINSPAN. The three forest types were: Quercus–Podocarpus Forest (QPF), Pinus–Quercus–Liquidambar Forest (PQLF), and ...


Forest-landscape structure mediates effects of a spruce bark beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreak on subsequent likelihood of burning in Alaskan boreal forest

Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 369 (June 2016), pp. 38-46,


[Highlights] [::] We measured forest-landscape structure effects on disturbance patterns in Alaska. [::] Disturbance patterns and interactions were related to tree-species composition. [::] Bark beetles lead to increased probability of fire in mixed-spruce stands. [::] Results can inform management of disturbance in Alaska with climate change. [Abstract] Characterizing how variation in forest landscape structure shapes patterns of natural disturbances and mediates interactions between multiple disturbances is critical for anticipating ecological consequences of climate change in high-latitude forest ecosystems. During the 1990s, a massive spruce bark beetle (Dendroctonus ...


Fine-scale spruce mortality dynamics driven by bark beetle disturbance in Babia Góra National Park, Poland

European Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 135, No. 3. (2016), pp. 507-517,


Bark beetle outbreaks have had major impacts on Norway spruce forests in Europe. The large majority of these forests are located in areas under forest management; thus, few studies have investigated outbreak-driven spruce mortality patterns unaffected by humans. Our study examined spruce mortality resultant from a beetle outbreak in a high-elevation, unmanaged forest over a 17-year span. We analyzed three tree-level survivorship and DBH datasets collected during pre-, mid-, and post-outbreak conditions to evaluate long-term mortality dynamics. We measured changes in ...


The relationship between potential solar radiation and spruce bark beetle catches in pheromone traps

Annals of Forest Research, Vol. 55, No. 2. (2012), pp. 243-252


We analysed the relationship between the amount of potential solar radiation and spruce bark beetle Ips typographus (L.) catches in pheromone traps in an unmanaged nature reserve in the Carpathians (middle Slovakia region), from 2006 through 2009. This relationship was analysed under outbreak conditions. The number of traps varied in different years from 70 to 92. The traps were installed in spruce-forest-dominated stands affected by a windstorm in 2004. A GPS device was used to mark the position of the pheromone ...


Determining landscape fine fuel moisture content of the Kilmore East ‘Black Saturday’ wildfire using spatially-extended point-based models

Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol. 40 (February 2013), pp. 98-108,


[Abstract] Fuel moisture is the most dynamic component of bushfire fuels. It varies rapidly both spatially and temporally and plays a significant role in determining the behaviour and spread of bushfires, particularly through combustibility and ease of ignition of dead fine fuels (i.e. particle diameter <6 mm). The Kilmore East fire in Victoria, Australia, on 7 February, 2009 (“Black Saturday”) was the most destructive bushfire in Australia's history. Its behaviour was characterised by mass spotting (the launch, transport and landing of burning ...


Quantifying the effects of topographic aspect on water content and temperature in fine surface fuel

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 24, No. 8. (2015), 1129,


This study quantifies the effects of topographic aspect on surface fine fuel moisture content (FFMC) in order to better represent landscape-scale variability in fire risk. Surface FFMC in a eucalypt forest was measured from December to May (180 days) on different aspects using a novel method for in situ monitoring of moisture content (GWClit) and temperature (Tlit) in litter. Daily mean GWClit varied systematically with aspect. North (0.07 ≤ GWClit ≤ 1.30 kg kg–1) and south (0.11 ≤ GWClit ≤ 1.83 ...


Solar radiation and forest fuel moisture

Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. 67, No. 4. (1943), pp. 149-176


A major contribution to progress in forest fire prevention and control during the past 10 years has been the development and widespread application of methods of rating forest fire danger. Fire danger rating systems are now in use in all the forest regions of the United States. They have been described by Gisborne, Brown and Davis, Curry et al., Matthews, Jemison, and others. Under each of these systems the major factors affecting fire danger are measured and the measurements are integrated ...


Deep cognitive imaging systems enable estimation of continental-scale fire incidence from climate data

Scientific Reports, Vol. 3 (13 November 2013),


Unplanned fire is a major control on the nature of terrestrial ecosystems and causes substantial losses of life and property. Given the substantial influence of climatic conditions on fire incidence, climate change is expected to substantially change fire regimes in many parts of the world. We wished to determine whether it was possible to develop a deep neural network process for accurately estimating continental fire incidence from publicly available climate data. We show that deep recurrent Elman neural network was the ...


Changes to plant species richness in forest fragments: fragment age, disturbance and fire history may be as important as area

Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 29, No. 5-6. (May 2002), pp. 749-765,


[Aim] The impact of fragmentation on a eucalypt forest was investigated by examining the effects of fragment size, time since fragmentation, degree of anthropogenic disturbance to fragment interiors, and time since fire, on native and exotic plant species richness per unit area. [Location] Two areas of dry open-forest were studied on the central coast of New South Wales in south-eastern Australia. Fifty forest fragments were located at Tomago, an area progressively fragmented over the last 60 years, most recently by clearing for sand-mining. Also ...


The status and challenge of global fire modelling

Biogeosciences, Vol. 13, No. 11. (09 June 2016), pp. 3359-3375,


Biomass burning impacts vegetation dynamics, biogeochemical cycling, atmospheric chemistry, and climate, with sometimes deleterious socio-economic impacts. Under future climate projections it is often expected that the risk of wildfires will increase. Our ability to predict the magnitude and geographic pattern of future fire impacts rests on our ability to model fire regimes, using either well-founded empirical relationships or process-based models with good predictive skill. While a large variety of models exist today, it is still unclear which type of model or ...


Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of species diversity in a Mediterranean ecosystem following fire

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 7, No. 4. (1997), 307,


This study examines species richness, species diversity (H'-Shannon-Weiner Index) and species dominance (C- Simpson-Index) in a Mediterranean ecosystem as a function of time elapsed since fire and the extent to which micro-climate regulates these indexes after wildfire occurrence. The study was conducted in an eastern Mediterranean ecosystem (Israel) over three consecutive years. About 400 ha of a mixed oak - pine forest burned in the summer of 1983 and part of it also suffered from a repeat fire in the summer ...


Differential responses of ecosystem components to a low-intensity fire in a Mediterranean forest: a three-year case study

Community Ecology, Vol. 14, No. 1. (June 2013), pp. 110-120,


Mediterranean forests are especially prone to fire, a periodic disturbance that affects all the ecosystem components in different ways. Gathering knowledge on the particular responses and rate of recovery of multiple ecosystem components following a wildfire is crucial to reliably evaluate its consequences on biodiversity. Using eight sampling transects, we studied the changes in four ecosystem components (topsoil, plants, carabids, and staphylinids) during three years after a spring wildfire in a Quercus pyrenaica forest; and compared them with the surrounding unburnt forest (hereafter control). We ...


Vegetation cover and species richness after recurrent forest fires in the Eastern Mediterranean ecosystem of Mount Carmel, Israel

Science of The Total Environment (February 2016),


[Highlights] [::] Vegetation cover changes after recurrent fires, and serve as a good indicator of fire influence. [::] In most fire-damaged areas dominant cover was composed from shrubs and dwarf-shrubs. [::] Tree cover was severely damaged after recurrent fires, and showed drastic decrease. [::] Species richness increased mainly in the first decade after the recurrent fires, and decreased when the forest canopy began to close. [::] Fire recurrence with short intervals (4–6 years) may lower the rehabilitated processes of the ecosystem and change its equilibrium. [Abstract] Fire is ...


Landslide-facilitated species diversity in a beech-dominant forest

Ecological Research In Ecological Research, Vol. 28, No. 1. (4 November 2013), pp. 29-41,


To evaluate the extent to which landslides affect community dynamics and consequent species diversity in a beech-dominated forest, differences in the composition and size structure of tree species were compared between landslide and adjacent stable (control) stands. Demography and changes in size were compared between the two stands over a 5-year period about 60 years after a landslide. In the control stand, replacement occurred even amongst late-successional species, with beech ( Fagus crenata )—the most dominant species—increasing in relative abundance. In ...


Habitat destruction: death by a thousand cuts

In Conservation Biology for All (01 January 2010), pp. 73-87,


[Excerpt] Humankind has dramatically transformed much of the Earth’s surface and its natural ecosystems. This process is not new—it has been ongoing for millennia—but it has accelerated sharply over the last two centuries, and especially in the last several decades. [\n] Today, the loss and degradation of natural habitats can be likened to a war of attrition. Many natural ecosystems are being progressively razed, bulldozed, and felled by axes or chainsaws, until only small scraps of their original extent survive. Forests have been hit especially hard: the global area of forests has been reduced ...


Will a warmer world be stormier?

IEEE Earthzine, Vol. 4, No. 2. (2011), 291714


[Excerpt] Increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have almost certainly played a major role in the observed temperature increases of the 20th Century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report. Global climate model (GCM) projections suggest that continued 21st Century increases in greenhouse gases will further warm the climate by a few degrees. A temperature change this small may not seem very serious, since local weather can fluctuate by much more than this from ...


European atlas of forest tree species

Keywords: bioeconomy   chorology   classification   climate   constrained-spatial-multi-frequency-analysis   data-heterogeneity   data-integration   data-uncertainty   disasters   disturbances   ecological-zones   ecology   ecosystem-services   europe   floods   forest-fires   forest-pests   forest-resources   free-software   geospatial   geospatial-semantic-array-programming   gis   gnu-bash   gnu-linux   gnu-octave   habitat-suitability   integrated-modelling   integrated-natural-resources-modelling-and-management   integration-techniques   knowledge-integration   landslides   mastrave-modelling-library   modelling-uncertainty   open-data   paleoecology   relative-distance-similarity   reproducible-research   review   science-policy-interface   science-society-interface   semantic-array-programming   semantic-constraints   semantics   semap   software-uncertainty   soil-erosion   soil-resources   species-distribution   tree-species   uncertainty   water-resources   windstorm  


[Excerpt] The European Atlas of Forest Tree Species is the first comprehensive publication of such a unique and essential environmental resource, that is, our trees. Leading scientists and forestry professionals have contributed in the many stages of the production of this atlas, through the collection of ground data on the location of tree species, elaboration of the distribution and suitability maps, production of the photographic material and compilation of the different chapters. The European Atlas of Forest Tree Species is both ...


Consistent influence of tree diameter and species on damage in nine eastern North America tornado blowdowns

Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 250, No. 1-2. (2007), pp. 96-108,


Are tree damage patterns in natural-forest windthrows predictable? Here, I synthesize published and unpublished findings from nine North American forest sites that were disturbed by tornadoes, to ask how well tree damage patterns might be predicted on the basis of tree diameter and species identity. All sites were sampled by the author and assistants, using generally similar methodology, thereby avoiding many of the barriers to direct cross-site comparison of wind damage. In almost all cases, there is a consistent pattern of ...


Wind as a natural disturbance agent in forests: a synthesis

Forestry, Vol. 86, No. 2. (01 April 2013), pp. 147-157,
Keywords: disturbances   windstorm   windthrow  


Windthrow is all too often looked at as an exceptional, catastrophic phenomenon rather than a recurrent natural disturbance that falls within the spectrum of chronic and acute effects of wind on forests, and that drives ecosystem patterns and processes. This paper provides an integrative overview of the nature, contributing factors and impacts of wind-caused disturbance in forests, including its effects on trees, stands, landscapes and soils. Windthrow is examined through the integrating concepts of: the capacity of trees for acclimative growth, ...


Disturbance history of an old-growth sub-alpine Picea abies stand in the Bohemian Forest, Czech Republic

Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 23, No. 1. (February 2012), pp. 86-97,


Questions What historical natural disturbances have shaped the structure and development of an old-growth, sub-alpine Picea abies forest? Are large-scale, high-severity disturbances (similar to the recent windthrow and bark beetle outbreaks in the region) within the historical range of variability for this forest ecosystem? Can past disturbances explain the previously described gradient in stand structure that had been attributed to an elevation gradient? Location Šumava National Park (the Bohemian Forest) of the southwest Czech Republic. Methods We reconstructed the site's disturbance history using dendroecological methods in ...


Living with storm damage to forests



Windstorms are a major disturbance factor for European forests. In the past decades wind storms have damaged standing forest volume which on a yearly average equals about the size of Poland's annual fellings. The evidence also indicates that the actual severity of storms in the wake of climatic changes may increase during the next decades. Windstorm damages have many environmental, economic and social implications. Consequently, it is important to try to prevent these damages, and better manage those which cannot ...


Forest fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa 2014



This is the 15th issue of the EFFIS annual report on forest fires for the year 2014. This report is consolidated as highly appreciated documentation of the previous year's forest fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. In its different sections, the report includes information on the evolution of fire danger in the European and Mediterranean regions, the damage caused by fires and detailed description of the fire conditions during the 2014 fire campaign in the majority of countries in the EFFIS network The ...


Temporal stability in forest productivity increases with tree diversity due to asynchrony in species dynamics

Ecology Letters, Vol. 17, No. 12. (1 December 2014), pp. 1526-1535,


Theory predicts a positive relationship between biodiversity and stability in ecosystem properties, while diversity is expected to have a negative impact on stability at the species level. We used virtual experiments based on a dynamic simulation model to test for the diversity–stability relationship and its underlying mechanisms in Central European forests. First our results show that variability in productivity between stands differing in species composition decreases as species richness and functional diversity increase. Second we show temporal stability increases with increasing ...


Complexity in modelling forest ecosystems: How much is enough?

Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 256, No. 10. (10 November 2008), pp. 1646-1658,


The levels-of-integration concept in ecology suggests that while the population and community levels of biological organization provide understanding, they do not provide an adequate basis for predicting future states of populations, communities or ecosystems. Empirical models of populations and communities are implicitly ecosystem level because they are based on measures of the results of all past determinants that affected the populations and communities in question. They can be good predictors under unchanging conditions, but they are not able to predict for ...


Leaching of nitrate from temperate forests effects of air pollution and forest management

Environmental Reviews, Vol. 14, No. 1. (1 March 2006), pp. 1-57,


We compiled regional and continental data on inorganic nitrogen (N) in seepage and surface water from temperate forests. Currently, N concentrations in forest waters are usually well below water quality standards. But elevated concentrations are frequently found in regions with chronic N input from deposition (>8?10?kg?ha?1 a?1). We synthesized the current understanding of factors controlling N leaching in relation to three primary causes of N cycle disruption: (i) Increased N input (air pollution, fertilization, N2 fixing plants). In European forests, elevated ...


Snow forces on forest plants due to creep and glide

Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 257, No. 2. (January 2009), pp. 546-552,


Snow forces impede afforestation in the subalpine region; in particular juvenescent trees can be damaged by extraction from the ground. Such forces are mainly triggered by intense snow gliding which is a frequent phenomenon on slopes with a smooth ground surface. In this article we have investigated the effects of snow gliding processes on forest plants. The study area was situated on a south-facing slope (altitude 1900 m, inclination 30°) in the Stubai valley, Tyrol, Austria. The site is characterized by a ...


Direct regeneration is not the only response of Mediterranean forests to large fires

Ecology, Vol. 85, No. 3. (March 2004), pp. 716-729,


It is widely accepted that the postfire recovery in Mediterranean plant communities is carried out by direct regeneration, i.e., the fast recovery of a plant community with the same species pool that it had immediately prior to disturbance. However, there is evidence that not all plant species in the Mediterranean basin survive fire in all situations, suggesting that the direct regeneration process might not apply to all situations. We analyze whether the main combinations of forest tree species (up to 16) ...

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