Simulation of tree species composition and organic matter accumulation in Finnish boreal forests under changing climatic conditions
A model simulating the regeneration, growth and death of trees and the consequent carbon and nitrogen dynamics of the forest ecosystem was applied to determine the effect of expected temperature rise on tree species composition and the accumulation of organic matter in the boreal forest ecosystem in Finland (between latitudes 60°–70° N). In the southern and middle boreal zones a temperature rise of 2–3° C (temperature for 2 x CO2) over a period of one hundred years increased the competitive capacity of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and birch species (Betula pendula and B. pubescens), and slowed down the invasion by Norway spruce (Picea abies). In the northern boreal zone a corresponding rise in temperature promoted the invasion of sites by Norway spruce. The accumulation of organic matter was promoted only slightly compared to that taking place in the current climatic conditions.
A further doubling of temperature (temperature for 4 x CO2) over an additional period of two hundred years led to the replacement of coniferous stands with deciduous onesin the southern and middle boreal zones. In the northern boreal zone an admixture of coniferous and deciduous species replaced pure coniferous stands with the latter taking over sites formerly classified as tundra woodland. In the southern and middle boreal zones the replacement of coniferous species induced a substantial decrease in the amount of organic matter; this returned to its former level following the establishment of deciduous species. In the northern boreal zone there was no major change in the amount of organic matter such as occurred in the case of the tundra woodland where the amount of organic matter accumulated was nearly as high as in the northern boreal zone.
KeywordsSimulation Process-based model Boreal zone Tree species composition Accumulation of organic matter Climatic change
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.