Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 79–91 | Cite as

Impact of climate change on vulnerability of forests and ecosystem service supply in Western Rhodopes Mountains

  • Tzvetan Zlatanov
  • Che Elkin
  • Florian Irauschek
  • Manfred Josef Lexer
Original Article

Abstract

The vulnerability of forest ecosystem services to climate change is expected to depend on landscape characteristic and management history, but may also be influenced by the proximity to the southern range limit of constituent tree species. In the Western Rhodopes in South Bulgaria, Norway spruce is an important commercial species, but is approaching its current southern limit. Using climate sensitive forest models, we projected the impact of climate change on timber production, carbon storage, biodiversity and soil retention in two representative landscapes in the Western Rhodopes; a lower elevation landscape (1000–1450 m a.s.l) dominated by mixed species forests, and a higher elevation landscape (1550–2100 m a.s.l.) currently dominated by spruce. In both landscapes climate change is projected to induce a shift in forest composition, with drought-sensitive species, such as Norway spruce, being replaced by more drought-tolerant species such as Scots pine and black pine at lower elevations. In the higher elevation landscape a reduction in spruce growth is projected, particularly under the more severe climate change scenarios. Under most climate scenarios a reduction in growing stock is projected to occur, but under some scenarios a moderate increase in higher elevation stands (>1500 m a.s.l.) is expected. Climate change is projected to negatively influence carbon storage potential across landscapes with the magnitude depending on the severity of the climate change scenario. The impact of climate change on forest diversity and habitat availability is projected to differ considerably between the two landscapes, with diversity and habitat quality generally increasing at higher elevations, and being reduced at lower elevations. Our results suggest that if currently management practices are maintained the sensitivity of forests and forest ecosystem services in the Western Rhodopes to climate change will differ between low and higher elevation sites and will depend strongly on current forest composition.

Keywords

Climate change Forest ecosystem services Ecosystem modelling Sustainable forest management 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Support for this study was provided by the project “Advanced Multifunctional Forest Management in European Mountain Ranges (ARANGE)” within the European commission’s 7th framework program, grant agreement number 289437.

Supplementary material

10113_2015_869_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2643 kb)

References

  1. Advanced Multifunctional Forest Management in European Mountain Ranges (ARANGE). Project within the European commission’s 7th framework program, grant agreement number 289437. http://www.arange-project.eu/. Accessed 28 June 2014
  2. Aleksandrov A, Kostov G, Zlatanov T (2009) COST action FP0703—ECHOES. Expected climate change and options for European silviculture, country report Bulgaria, 14pp. http://www.gip-ecofor.org/echoes. Accessed 28 June 2014
  3. Angelstam P, Bütler R, Lazdinis M, Mikusinski G, Roberge J (2003) Habitat thresholds for focal species at multiple scales and forest biodiversity conservation—dead wood as an example. Ann Zool Fennici 40:473–482Google Scholar
  4. Bentz B, Régnière J, Fettig C, Hansen E, Hicke J, Hayes J, Kelsey Y, Negrón J, Seybold S (2010) Climate change and bark beetles of the Western United States and Canada: direct and indirect effects. Bioscience 60:602–613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Booth R, Grime J (2003) Effects of genetic impoverishment on plant community diversity. J Ecol 91:721–730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bugmann H (2001) A review of forest gap models. Clim Change 51:259–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carrer M, Nola P, Motta R, Urbinati C (2010) Contrasting tree-ring growth to climate responses of Abies alba toward the southern limit of its distribution area. Oikos 119:1515–1525. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2010.18293.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Colombaroli D, Henne PD, Kaltenrieder P, Gobet E, Tinner W (2010) Species responses to fire, climate and human impact at tree line in the Alps as evidenced by palaeo-environmental records and a dynamic simulation model. J Ecol 98:1346–1357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Council of the European Union (1992) Document 31992L0043: Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. Official J L 206:7–50Google Scholar
  10. Delkov N (1988) Dendrology. Sofia, ZemizdatGoogle Scholar
  11. Diaci J, Firm D (2011) Long-term dynamics of a mixed conifer stand in Slovenia managed with a farmer selection system. For Ecol Manag 262:931–939. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2011.05.024 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. EEA (2010) Eurpoe’s ecological backbone: recognising the true value of our mountains. EEA Report, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  13. Elkin C, Gutiérrez A, Leuzinger S, Manusch C, Temperli C, Rasche L, Bugmann H (2013) A 2 C warmer world is not safe for ecosystem services in the European Alps. Glob Change Biol 19:1827–1840. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12156 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Frehner M, Waser B, Schwitter R (2005) Sustainability and controlling in protection forests. Guidelines for tending forests with protective function. Bundesamt für Umwelt, Wald und Landschaft (BUWAL), BernGoogle Scholar
  15. Galabov Z (ed) (1973) Atlas of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. Sofia, Main Bureau of Geodesy and CartographyGoogle Scholar
  16. GFSAF (2000–2014) Report forms 5 GF (Forest Fund). Bulgarian State Forest AgencyGoogle Scholar
  17. Gonzalez P, Neilson R, Lenihan J, Drapek R (2010) Global patterns in the vulnerability of ecosystems to vegetation shifts due to climate change. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 19:755–768. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00558.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Guénette J, Villard M (2005) Thresholds in forest bird response to habitat alteration as quantitative targets for conservation. Conserv Biol 19(4):1168–1180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hanewinkel M, Cullmann D, Schelhaas M-J, Nabuurs G-J, Zimmermann N (2012) Climate change may cause severe loss in the economic value of European forest land. Nat Clim Change 3:203–207. doi: 10.1038/nclimate1687 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hartl-Meier C, Zang C, Dittmar C, Esper J, Göttlein A, Rothe A (2014) Vulnerability of Norway spruce to climate change in mountain forests of the European Alps. Clim Res 60:119–132. doi: 10.3354/cr01226 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haylock M, Hofstra N, Klein Tank A, Klok E, Jones P, New M (2008) A European daily high-resolution gridded dataset of surface temperature and precipitation. J Geophys Res 113:D20119. doi: 10.1029/2008JD10201 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Henne PD, Elkin CM, Reineking B, Bugmann H, Tinner W (2011) Did soil development limit spruce (Picea abies) expansion in the Central Alps during the Holocene? Testing a palaeobotanical hypothesis with a dynamic landscape model. J Biogeogr 38:933–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hewitt C, Griggs D (2004) Ensembles-based predictions of climate changes and their impacts. EOS Trans AGU 85(52):566. doi: 10.1029/2004EO520005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Huntley B (1991) How plants respond to climate change—migration rates, individualism and the consequences for plant communities. Ann Bot 67:15–22Google Scholar
  25. Iankov P (ed.) (2007) Atlas of breeding birds in Bulgaria. BSPB conservation series, Book 10, SofiaGoogle Scholar
  26. IPCC (2006) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2006gl/vol4.html. Accessed 20 Feb 2015
  27. IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: synthesis report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  28. Jolly M, Dobbertin M, Zimmermann N, Reichstein M (2005) Divergent vegetation growth responses to the 2003 heat wave in the Swiss Alps. Geophys Res Let 32:L18409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Landsberg J, Waring R (1997) A generalised model of forest productivity using simplified concepts of radiation-use efficiency, carbon balance and partitioning. For Ecol Manag 95:209–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lexer MJ, Brooks R (2005) Decision support for multiple purpose forestry. For Ecol Manag 207:1–3. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2004.11.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lexer MJ, Hönninger K (2001) A modified 3D-patch model for spatially explicit simulation of vegetation composition in heterogeneous landscapes. For Ecol Manag 144:43–65. doi: 10.1016/S0378-1127(00)00386-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Marinov I, Velizarova E, Nyagolov I et al (2012) Climate change and their effect on the forest ecosystems and water resources in the Struma basin. BON editorial house, BlagoevgradGoogle Scholar
  33. MEA (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: current state and trends. Island Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  34. Nikolov B, Shurlinkov P, Hristova-Nikolova I (2011) Bird density and species composition in Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) dominated forests in the Bulgarian part of Belasitsa Mountain. In: State and prospects of the Castanea sativa population in Belasitsa Mountain: climate change adaptation; maintenance of biodiversity and sustainable ecosystem management (Zlatanov T, I Velichkov, B Nikolov eds). Project BG 0031 EEA report. http://www.castbelbg.com/. Accessed 21 February 2015
  35. Nyland R (1996) Silviculture concepts and applications. Mc Graw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. Paulsen J, Weber M, Körner C (2000) Tree growth near treeline: abrupt or gradual reduction with altitude? Arct Antarct Alp Res 32:14–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Peguero-Pina J, Camarero J, Abadía A, Martín E, González-Cascón R, Morales F, Gil-Pelegrín E (2007) Physiological performance of silver-fir (Abies alba Mill.) populations under contrasting climates near the south-western distribution limit of the species. Flora 202(3):226–236. doi: 10.1016/j.flora.2006.06.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Peñuelas J, Boada M (2003) A global change-induced biome shift in the Montseny Mountains (NE Spain). Glob Change Biol 9:131–140. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2486.2003.00566.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Popov V (2011) Animal (spiders, beetles, butterflies and birds) assemblage patterns and environmental gradients in sweet chestnut dominated forests in the Bulgarian part of Belasitsa Mountain. In: State and prospects of the Castanea sativa population in Belasitsa Mountain: climate change adaptation; maintenance of biodiversity and sustainable ecosystem management (Zlatanov T, I Velichkov, B Nikolov eds). Project BG 0031 EEA report. http://www.castbelbg.com/. Accessed 25 February 2015
  40. Pretzsch H (2009) Forest dynamics, growth and yield: from measurement to model. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ranius T, Fahrig L (2006) Targets for maintenance of dead wood for biodiversity conservation based on extinction thresholds. Scand J For Res 21:201–208. doi: 10.1080/02827580600688269 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rauscher H, Reynolds K, Vacik H (2005) Decision support systems for forest management. Comput Electron Agric 49(1):1–5. doi: 10.1016/j.compag.2005.02.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rolland C, Petitcolas V, Michalet R (1998) Changes in radial tree growth for Picea abies, Larix decidua, Pinus cembra and Pinus uncinata near the alpine timberline since 1750. Trees Struct Funct 13:40–53. doi: 10.1007/PL00009736 Google Scholar
  44. Savva Y, Oleksyn J, Reich P, Tjoelker M, Vaganov E, Modrzynski J (2006) Interannual growth response of Norway spruce to climate along an altitudinal gradient in the Tatra Mountains, Poland. Trees 20:735–746. doi: 10.1007/s00468-006-0088-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sayer J, Maginnis S (2013) Forests in landscapes: ecosystem approaches to sustainability. Taylor & Francis, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  46. Schumacher S, Bugmann H (2006) The relative importance of climatic effects, wildfires and management for future forest landscape dynamics in the Swiss Alps. Glob Change Biol 12:1435–1450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schumacher S, Bugmann H, Mladenoff DJ (2004) Improving the formulation of tree growth and succession in a spatially explicit landscape model. Ecol Model 180:175–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schumacher S, Reineking B, Sibold J, Bugmann H (2006) Modeling the impact of climate and vegetation on fire regimes in mountain landscapes. Landsc Ecol 21:539–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schütz J-P (1999) Close-to-nature silviculture: is this concept compatible with species diversity? Forestry 72(4):359–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Seidl R, Lexer MJ, Jäger D, Hönninger K (2005) Evaluating the accuracy and generality of a hybrid patch model. Tree Physiol 25(7):939–951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Seidl R, Rammer W, Lexer MJ (2011) Climate change vulnerability of sustainable forest management in the Eastern Alps. Clim Change 106:225–254. doi: 10.1007/s10584-010-9899-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Seidl R, Eastaugh C, Kramer K, Maroschek M, Reyer C, Socha J, Vacchiano G, Zlatanov T, Hasenauer H (2013) Scaling issues in forest ecosystem management and how to address them with models. Eur J For Res 132:653–666. doi: 10.1007/s10342-013-0725-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. SLFEMP (2007) Shiroka Laka. Forest Enterprise Management Plan, AgrolesproektGoogle Scholar
  54. Temperli C, Bugmann H, Elkin C (2012) Adaptive management for competing forest goods and services under climate change. Ecol Appl 22:2065–2077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Thornton P, Running S (1999) An improved algorithm for estimating incident daily solar radiation from measurements of temperature, humidity, and precipitation. Agr For Meteorol 93:211–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. UNFCCC (1997) Kyoto protocol to the united nations framework convention on climate change. http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/kpeng.pdf. Accessed 25 Feb 2015
  57. Velichkov V, Krijan-Velichkova E, Cenov C (2008) Possibilities for valuable timber production in the Rodopes. Manag Sustain Dev 1(19):68–77Google Scholar
  58. Velichkov I, G Popov, G Hinkov, T Zlatanov (2009) Resources, issues, and management perspectives of beech forests in Rodopi mountains. In: G Rafailov (ed.), National conference on beech forests management in Bulgaria, Barziya, 16–17 June 2009, “RUTA–HB”, pp 87–100Google Scholar
  59. Von Lüpke B, Spellmann H (1999) Aspects of stability, growth and natural regeneration in mixed Norway spruce-beech stands as a basis of silvicultural decisions. In: Management of mixed-species forest: silviculture and economics (eds. Olsthoorn A, Bartelink H, Gardiner J). IBN Scientific Contributions 15, Institute of Forestry and Nature Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands, pp 245–267Google Scholar
  60. Woltjer M et al (2008) Coupling a 3D patch model and a rockfall module to assess rockfall protection in mountain forests. J Environ Manag 87:373–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zahariev B, Duhovnikov Y, Iliev A et al (1977) The forestation in Bulgaria. Zemizdat, SofiaGoogle Scholar
  62. Zang C, Rothe A, Weis W, Pretzsch H (2011) Zur Baumarten-eignung bei Klimawandel: ableitung der Trockenstress-Anfälligkeit wichtiger Waldbaumarten aus Jahrring-breiten. Allg For J Ztg 182:98–112Google Scholar
  63. Zlatanov T, Velichkov I, Lexer M, Dubravac T (2010) Regeneration dynamics in aging black pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) plantations on the south slopes of the middle balkan range in Bulgaria. New For 40:289–303. doi: 10.1007/s11056-010-9200-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forest Research Institute SofiaSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Forest EcologyETH Zürich Switzerland & University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  3. 3.University of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations