New Forests

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 29–40 | Cite as

Climate Change Effects on Mediterranean Forests and Preventive Measures

  • Víctor Resco de DiosEmail author
  • Christine Fischer
  • Carlos Colinas
Original Article


This paper synthesizes and reviews literature concerning climate change effects on Mediterranean forest ecology and management as well as the restorative techniques necessary to maintain forest health, forest yield and biodiversity. Climate change compounded with trends of rural abandonment are likely to diminish forested areas within the Mediterranean basin that will be replaced by fire prone shrub communities. This could be favoured by outbreaks of pathogens, fire and other large-scale disturbances. Landscape fragmentation is expected to impede species migration. Annual increments and subsequent income from forests are expected to decrease. Reafforestations are necessary to ensure the presence of propagules of forest species and their site-specific varieties best adapted to future climatic conditions even though they may be different from the present forest-plant community. Current challenges in biodiversity conservation can only be met by afforestations whose main objective is to maintain ecosystem functioning. A new silviculture must emerge encompassing these habitat displacement and economic concerns while maximizing carbon sequestration.

Key words

Global warming Mitigation strategies Forest restoration Reforestations Biodiversity Carbon sequestration 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alfredsson H, Condron LM, Clarholm M, Davis MR (1998) Changes in soil acidity and organic matter following the establishment of conifers on former grassland in New Zealand. For Ecol Manag 112:245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alía R, Martín S (2003) EUFORGEN Technical Guidelines for genetic conservation and use for Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster). In: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy, pp 6Google Scholar
  3. Allué-Andrade JL (1995) Naturaleza, efectos y amortiguamiento del cambio climático en los bosques españoles. Montes 40:21–28Google Scholar
  4. Brasier CM (1996) Phytophtora cinnamomi and oak decline in southern Europe. Environmental constraints including climate change. Ann For Sci 53:347–358Google Scholar
  5. Brown S (1997) Forests and climate change: role of forest lands as carbon sinks. Proceedings of the XI World Forestry Congress. Antalya, Turkey. 1:107–121Google Scholar
  6. Cámara-Obregón A (1998) Comportamiento y posibles aplicaciones de Pinus halepensis Mill. en España, frente al cambio climático. Cuadernos de la Sociedad Española de Ciencias Forestales 7:51–60Google Scholar
  7. Canadell JG, Pataki D (2002) New advances in carbon cycle research. Trends Ecol Evol 17:156–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Castells E, Roumet C, Peñuelas J, Roy J (2002) Intraspecific variability of phenolic concentrations and their responses to elevated CO2 in two mediterranean perennial grasses. Environ Exp Bot 47:205–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Catovsky S, Holbrook NM, Bazzaz FA (2002) Coupling whole-tree transpiration and canopy photosynthesis in coniferous and broad-leaved tree species. Can J For Res 32:295–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) (2001) Forest biological diversity, Rep. No. UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/7/7. UNEP, MontrealGoogle Scholar
  11. Chapela IH, Osher LJ, Horton TR, Henn MR (2001) Ectomycorrhizal fungi introduced with exotic pine plantations induce soil carbon depletion. Soil Biol Biochem 33:1733–1740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Davis MB (1989) Lags in vegetation response to greenhouse warming. Climatic change 15:75–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Luís M, García-Cano MF, Cortina J, Raventós J, González-Hidalgo JC, Sánchez JR (2001) Climatic trends, disturbances and short-term vegetation dynamics in a Mediterranean shrubland. For Ecol Manag 147:25–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Déqué M, Marquet P, Jones RG (1998) Simulation of climate change over Europe using a global variable resolution general circulation model. Clim Dynam 14:173–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dukes JS, Mooney HA (1999) Does global change increase the success of biological invaders? Trends Ecol Evol 14:135–139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eggers T (2002) The Impacts of Manufacturing and Utilisation of Wood Products on the European Carbon Budget. European Forestry Institute. Joensuu, Finland. 90 pGoogle Scholar
  17. Fady B, Semerci H, Vendramin GG (2003) EUFORGEN Technical Guidelines for genetic conservation and use for Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and Brutia pine (Pinus brutia). In International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. Rome, Italy, 6 pGoogle Scholar
  18. Fearnside PM (1999) Plantation forestry in Brazil: the potential impacts of climate change. Biomass Bioenerg 16:91–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Giovannini G, Vallejo R, Lucchesi S, Bautista S, Ciompi S, Llovet J (2001) Effects of land use and eventual fire on soil erodibility in dry Mediterranean conditions. For Ecol Manag 147:15–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guo L, Guifford R (2002) Soil carbon stocks and land use change: a meta analysis. Global Change Biol 8:345–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Harmon ME, Ferrell WK, Franklin JF (1990) Effects on carbon storage of conversion of old-growth forests to young forests. Science 247:699–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Higgins S, Richardson DM (1999) Predicting plant migration rates in a changing world: The role of long-distance dispersal. Am Nat 153:464–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hódar JA, Castro J, Zamora R (2003) Pine processionary caterpillar Thaumetopoea pityocampa as a new threat for relict Mediterranean Scots pine forests under climatic warming. Biol Conserv 110:123–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hulme M, Sheard N (1999) Escenarios de Cambio Climático para la Península Ibérica. Climatic Research Unit- University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. 6 pGoogle Scholar
  25. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Cimate Change) (1990) Scientific Assessment of Climate change – Report of Working Group I Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 365 pGoogle Scholar
  26. IPCC (2001a) Climate Change 2001: Synthesis report. WMO/UNEP, Wembley. 397 pGoogle Scholar
  27. IPCC (2001b) Climate change 2001: The scientific basis. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 886pGoogle Scholar
  28. Iverson LR, Schwartz MW, Prasad AM (2004) How fast and far might tree species migrate in the eastern United States due to climate change? Global Ecol Biogeogr 13:209–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kräuchi N (1993) Potential impacts of a climate change on forest ecosystems. Eur J For Pathol 23:28–50Google Scholar
  30. Kräuchi N, Kienast F (1993) Modelling subalpine forest dynamics as influenced by a changing environment. Water Air Soil Pollut 68:185–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Layser EF (1980) Forestry and Climatic Change. J For 78:678–682Google Scholar
  32. Lindner M (2000) Developing adaptive forest management strategies to cope with climate change. Tree Physiol 20:299–307Google Scholar
  33. Lloret F, Peñuelas J, Estiarte M (2004) Experimental evidence of reduced diversity of seedlings due to climate modification in a Mediterranean-type community. Global Change Biol 10:248–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lloret F, Siscart D (1995) Los efectos demográficos de la sequía en poblaciones de encina. Cuadernos de la Sociedad Española de Ciencias Forestales 2:77–81Google Scholar
  35. Martínez-Vilalta J, Piñol J (2002) Drought-induced mortality and hydraulic architecture in pine populations of the NE Iberian Peninsula. For Ecol Manag 161:247–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Montoya R (1995) Red de seguimiento de daños en los montes. Daños originados por la sequía en 1994. Cuadernos de la Sociedad Española de Ciencias Forestales 2:83–97Google Scholar
  37. Montoya-Oliver J (1995) Efecto del cambio climático sobre los ecosistemas forestales españoles. Cuadernos de la Sociedad Española de Ciencias Forestales 2:65–76Google Scholar
  38. Montoya-Oliver J (2001) Selvicultura y cambio climático. Montes 64:69–74Google Scholar
  39. Mota MM, Braasch H, Bravo MA, Penas AC, Burgermeister W, Metge K, Sousa E (1999) First report of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus in Portugal and in Europe. Nematology 1:727–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Neilsen RP (1993) Transient ecotone response to climatic change: some conceptual and modeling approaches. Ecol Appl 3:385–395Google Scholar
  41. Ogaya R, Peñuelas J (2003) Comparative field study of Quercus iles and Phillyrea latifolia: photosynthetic response to experimental drought conditions. Environ Exp Bot 50:137–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ogaya R, Peñuelas J, Martínez-Vilalta J, Mangirón M (2003) Effect of drought on diameter increment of Quercus ilex, Phillyrea latifolia, and Arbutus unedo in a holm oak forest of NE Spain. For Ecol Manag 180:175–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Olivera A, Colinas C (1995) Observaciones sobre la posible correspondencia entre la evolución climática y el decaimiento de los alcornoques en Cataluña. Proyecto Final de Carrera. University of Lleida, Lleida SpainGoogle Scholar
  44. Palosuo T, Wihersaari M, Liski J (2000) Net greenhouse gas emissions due to energy use of forest residues—Impact of soil carbon balace. In: Pelkonen P, Hakkila P, Karjalainen T, Schlamadinger B (eds) Woody biomass as an energy source—challenges in Europe, vol. 39. EFI Proceedings, Joensuu, Finland, pp 115–122Google Scholar
  45. Palutikof JP, Wigley TML (1996) Developing climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean region. In: Jeftic L, Keckes S, Pernetta JC (eds) Climate change and the mediterranean, vol. 2. Arnold, London, pp 27–56Google Scholar
  46. Parfitt RL, Percival HJ, Dahlgren RA, Hill LF (1997) Soil and solution chemistry under pasture and radiata pine in New Zealand. Plant soil 191:279–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Peñuelas J, Boada M (2003) A global change-induced biome shift in the Montseny mountains (NE Spain). Global Change Biol 9:131–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Peñuelas J, Filella I, Comas P (2002) Changed plant and animal life cycles from 1952–2000 in the Mediterranean region. Global Change Biol 8:531–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Peñuelas J, Llusià J (2003) BVOCs: plant defense against climate warming? Trends Plant Sci 8:105–109PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Perry D (1994) Forest ecosystems. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore/London, 649 pGoogle Scholar
  51. Peters RL, Darling JD (1985) The greenhouse effect and nature reserves. BioScience 35:707–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Piñol J, Terradas J, Lloret F (1998) Climate warming, wildfire hazard, and wildfire occurrence in coastal eastern Spain. Climatic change 38:345–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Prieto F (1993) Incendios forestales en España. Ecosistemas 4:32–33Google Scholar
  54. Puigdefabregas J, Mendizabal T (1998) Perspectives on desertification: western Mediterranean. J␣Arid Environ 39:209–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rambal S, Hoff C (1998) Mediterranean ecosystems and fire: the threats to global change. In: Moreno JM (eds) Large forest fires. Backuys, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp 187–213Google Scholar
  56. Sánchez ME, Navarro RM, Trapero A, Fernández P (2000) La “Seca” de encinas y alcornoques: una visión histórica. Montes 62:29–39Google Scholar
  57. Sasse J (1998) The forests of Japan. Japan Forest Technical AssociationGoogle Scholar
  58. Scott NA, Tate KR, Ford-Robertson J, Giltrap DJ, Smith CT (1999) Soil carbon storage in plantation forests and pastures: land-use change implications. Tellus B 51:326–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schlamadinger B, Marland G (2000) The role of bioenergy and related land use in global net CO2 Emissions. In: Pelkonen P, Hakkila P, Karjalainen T, Schlamadinger B (eds) Woody biomass as an energy source—Challenges in Europe, vol. 39. EFI Proceedings, Joensuu, Finland, pp 21–28Google Scholar
  60. Stier SC, Siebert SF (2002) The Kyoto Protocol: an Opportunity for Biodiversity Restoration Forestry. Conserv Biol 16:575–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tainter FH, Baker FA (1996) Principles of forest pathology. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 832 pGoogle Scholar
  62. Vélez R (1995) El peligro de los incendios forestales derivado de la sequía. Cuadernos de la Sociedad Española de Ciencias Forestales 2:99–109Google Scholar
  63. Walther G-R, Post E, Convey P, Menzel A, Parmesan C, Beebee TJC, Fromentin J-M, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Bairlein F (2002) Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature 416:389–395PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Víctor Resco de Dios
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christine Fischer
    • 1
  • Carlos Colinas
    • 1
  1. 1.Àrea de Defensa del BoscCentre Tecnològic Forestal de CatalunyaSolsona (Lleida)Spain
  2. 2.Department of Renewable ResourcesUniversity of Wyoming, Dept. 3354LaramieUSA

Personalised recommendations