Assessment of Ukrainian Forests Vulnerability to Climate Change
This is an investigation on forest vulnerability and possible adaptations strategy to the climate change impacts in the Ukraine. Estimations are made for potential forests distribution, main tree species distribution, forests growth response and economic impacts, based upon a baseline climatic scenario, as well as scenarios based on CCCM, GISS, GFDL and UK89 models. The data source of estimation consists of mean monthly temperature and precipitation data from 66 meteorological stations in Ukraine. These input variables are averaged observations data from 1951 to 1980. The next step is a comparable analysis of the values obtained with estimates that use the same methods, but for global data at 0.5° × 0.5° spatial resolution. The Holdridge life zones classification model and original Vorobjov climates' classification model by forest types were both used to map potential land cover. A study of differences between the models shows that the Vorobjov model is more detailed in terms of forest types. Yet, the model can not be used correctly outside of its empirical validation area, i.e. sub polar, boreal and partially cool temperate latitudinal belts of Europe and Asia. Maps of potential forest distribution prepared with Holdridge and Vorobjov classification models were used for direct impact assessment and to find regional analogies of present and future climate. For projecting species distribution was used an empirical model of species potential climatic ranges, based on mapping of current species ranges and the Vorobjov classification model's climatic variables. An evaluation of economic impacts was based on differences of conditional income between mixed forest, forest steppe and steppe forestry management models. Changes in the proportion of territories occupied by different forestry management models impose changes on overall and local conditional income. Potential biological productivity of forests in climate change condition is difficult to estimate because of the lack of an appropriate analytical model. Modeling of forests dynamics has been done with help of computer program for implementing Gap models. This program was adopted for defining initial forest stand composition and tree age distribution.
Keywordsforest vulnerability climate change impact Ukraine
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