Browsing by Subject "CLIMATE-CHANGE IMPACTS"

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  • Vauhkonen, Jari; Mutanen, Antti; Packalen, Tuula; Asikainen, Antti (2021)
    Background The current EU LULUCF regulation calls for member state-specific Forest Reference Levels (FRLs) for benchmark in the accounting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals of managed forest land during the compliance period (2021-2030). According to the technical guidance on developing and reporting the FRLs, it could be actualized by projecting a ratio of harvested to total available biomass. We tested how the initial age distribution may affect the aforementioned ratio by simulating the continuation of forest management based on several descriptive shapes of forest age class distribution. Results Our simulations suggest that when the FRLs are prepared by employing the harvest ratio and forest management is assumed strictly age dynamics driven, the shape of the initial forest age class distribution gives rise to computational sinks or sources of carbon in managed forest land. Harvests projected according to the ratio corresponded those resulting from the age dynamics only in the case of uniform age distribution. Conclusions The result calls for a better consideration of variation in initial states between countries when determining the future LULUCF regulation. Our exercise demonstrates how generic simulations in a standardized modeling framework could help in ex-ante impact assessment of proposed changes to the LULUCF regulation.
  • Kotta, Jonne; Vanhatalo, Jarno Petteri; Jänes, Holger; Orav-Kotta, Helen; Rugiu, Luca; Jormalainen, Veijo; Bobsien, Ivo; Viitasalo, Markku; Virtanen, Elina; Nyström Sandman, Antonia; Isaeus, Martin; Leidenberger, Sonja; Jonsson, Per R.; Johannesson, Kerstin (2019)
    Predictive species distribution models are mostly based on statistical dependence between environmental and distributional data and therefore may fail to account for physiological limits and biological interactions that are fundamental when modelling species distributions under future climate conditions. Here, we developed a state-of-the-art method integrating biological theory with survey and experimental data in a way that allows us to explicitly model both physical tolerance limits of species and inherent natural variability in regional conditions and thereby improve the reliability of species distribution predictions under future climate conditions. By using a macroalga-herbivore association (Fucus vesiculosus - Idotea balthica) as a case study, we illustrated how salinity reduction and temperature increase under future climate conditions may significantly reduce the occurrence and biomass of these important coastal species. Moreover, we showed that the reduction of herbivore occurrence is linked to reduction of their host macroalgae. Spatial predictive modelling and experimental biology have been traditionally seen as separate fields but stronger interlinkages between these disciplines can improve species distribution projections under climate change. Experiments enable qualitative prior knowledge to be defined and identify cause-effect relationships, and thereby better foresee alterations in ecosystem structure and functioning under future climate conditions that are not necessarily seen in projections based on non-causal statistical relationships alone.
  • Larjavaara, Markku; Berninger, Frank; Palviainen, Marjo; Prokushkin, Anatoly; Wallenius, Tuomo (2017)
    Improved understanding of carbon (C) accumulation after a boreal fire enables more accurate quantification of the C implications caused by potential fire regime shifts. We coupled results from a fire history study with biomass and soil sampling in a remote and little-studied region that represents a vast area of boreal taiga. We used an inventory approach based on predefined plot locations, thus avoiding problems potentially causing bias related to the standard chronosequence approach. The disadvantage of our inventory approach is that more plots are needed to expose trends. Because of this we could not expose clear trends, despite laborious sampling. We found some support for increasing C and nitrogen (N) stored in living trees and dead wood with increasing time since the previous fire or time since the previous stand-replacing fire. Surprisingly, we did not gain support for the well-established paradigm on successional patterns, beginning with angiosperms and leading, if fires are absent, to dominance of Picea. Despite the lack of clear trends in our data, we encourage fire historians and ecosystem scientists to join forces and use even larger data sets to study C accumulation since fire in the complex Eurasian boreal landscapes.
  • Gonzalez-Munoz, N.; Sterck, F.; Torres-Ruiz, J. M.; Petit, G.; Cochard, H.; von Arx, G.; Lintunen, A.; Caldeira, M. C.; Capdeville, G.; Copini, P.; Gebauer, R.; Gronlund, L.; Holtta, T.; Lobo-do-Vales, R.; Peltoniemi, M.; Stritih, A.; Urban, J.; Delzon, S. (2018)
    Many studies have reported that hydraulic properties vary considerably between tree species, but little is known about their intraspecific variation and, therefore, their capacity to adapt to a warmer and drier climate. Here, we quantify phenotypic divergence and clinal variation for embolism resistance, hydraulic conductivity and branch growth, in four tree species, two angiosperms (Betula pendula, Populus tremula) and two conifers (Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris), across their latitudinal distribution in Europe. Growth and hydraulic efficiency varied widely within species and between populations. The variability of embolism resistance was in general weaker than that of growth and hydraulic efficiency, and very low for all species but Populus tremula. In addition, no and weak support for a safety vs. efficiency trade-off was observed for the angiosperm and conifer species, respectively. The limited variability of embolism resistance observed here for all species except Populus tremula, suggests that forest populations will unlikely be able to adapt hydraulically to drier conditions through the evolution of embolism resistance.
  • Siljamo, Pilvi; Sofiev, Mikhail; Ranta, Hanna; Linkosalo, Tapio; Kubin, Eero; Ahas, Rein; Genikhovich, Eugene; Jatczak, Katarzyna; Jato, Victoria; Nekovar, Jiri; Minin, Alexander; Severova, Elena; Shalaboda, Valentina (2008)
  • Robinson, Sinikka I.; McLaughlin, Órla B.; Marteinsdóttir, Bryndís; O'Gorman, Eoin J. (2018)
    1. Global warming is predicted to significantly alter species physiology, biotic interactions and thus ecosystem functioning, as a consequence of coexisting species exhibiting a wide range of thermal sensitivities. There is, however, a dearth of research examining warming impacts on natural communities. 2. Here, we used a natural warming experiment in Iceland to investigate the changes in above-ground terrestrial plant and invertebrate communities along a soil temperature gradient (10 degrees C-30 degrees C). 3. The alpha-diversity of plants and invertebrates decreased with increasing soil temperature, driven by decreasing plant species richness and increasing dominance of certain invertebrate species in warmer habitats. There was also greater species turnover in both plant and invertebrate communities with increasing pairwise temperature difference between sites. There was no effect of temperature on percentage cover of vegetation at the community level, driven by contrasting effects at the population level. 4. There was a reduction in the mean body mass and an increase in the total abundance of the invertebrate community, resulting in no overall change in community biomass. There were contrasting effects of temperature on the population abundance of various invertebrate species, which could be explained by differential thermal tolerances and metabolic requirements, or may have been mediated by changes in plant community composition. 5. Our study provides an important baseline from which the effect of changing environmental conditions on terrestrial communities can be tracked. It also contributes to our understanding of why community-level studies of warming impacts are imperative if we are to disentangle the contrasting thermal responses of individual populations.
  • Halliday, Fletcher W.; Jalo, Mikko; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2021)
    Quantifying the relative impact of environmental conditions and host community structure on disease is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, as both climate and biodiversity are changing at unprecedented rates. Both increasing temperature and shifting host communities toward more fast paced life history strategies are predicted to increase disease, yet their independent and interactive effects on disease in natural communities remain unknown. Here, we address this challenge by surveying foliar disease symptoms in 220, 0.5 m-diameter herbaceous plant communities along a 1100-m elevational gradient. We find that increasing temperature associated with lower elevation can increase disease by (1) relaxing constraints on parasite growth and reproduction, (2) determining which host species are present in a given location, and (3) strengthening the positive effect of host community pace-of-life on disease. These results provide the first field evidence, under natural conditions, that environmental gradients can alter how host community structure affects disease.