Climate change is threatening forest and forestry in Europe

Vincent Moulin, Rouen University

Climate is one of the major factors composing tree ecological niches as defined by Hutchinson (Booth et al., 1987; Hutchinson, 1965). Consequently, concerns arise with the increase in harming events caused by anthropic climate change (Marini et al, 2012). Some species would not have neither the genetic potential to adapt nor the dispersal capacity to migrate (Davis and Shaw, 2001). In a study on 1367 plant species, Chen et al. (2011) show that plant have in mean migrate at the rhythm of 16.9 km per decade and so lag behind the rhythm of climate change. It is known than climate change is reducing the pool of tree species available for foresters in Europe because few species will be able to support such change in climatic condition in their lifespan. Consequently, foresters would have to practice short rotation 20-30 years that reduce the economic value of wood and can threaten late forest succession biodiversity. As a soil biodiversity forestry expert, I deeply advocate for ambitious green planification to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt forest to the current climate change level. Forest biodiversity, forest economic services and forest sector depend on it.

Vincent Moulin
PHD student, Ecodiv laboratory, Rouen University/INRAE, France

Booth, Trevor H., Henry A. Nix, Michael F. Hutchinson, et Tom Jovanic. « Niche analysis and tree species introduction ». Forest Ecology and Management 23, no 1 (1 janvier 1988): 47 59.

Davis, Margaret B., et Ruth G. Shaw. « Range Shifts and Adaptive Responses to Quaternary Climate Change ». Science 292, no 5517 (27 avril 2001): 673 79.

Hutchinson, G. Evelyn. The Ecological Theater and the Evolutionary Play. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965.

Marini, Lorenzo, Matthew P. Ayres, Andrea Battisti, et Massimo Faccoli. « Climate Affects Severity and Altitudinal Distribution of Outbreaks in an Eruptive Bark Beetle ». Climatic Change 115, no 2 (1 novembre 2012): 327 41.

Chen, I-Ching, Jane K. Hill, Ralf Ohlemüller, David B. Roy, et Chris D. Thomas. « Rapid Range Shifts of Species Associated with High Levels of Climate Warming ». Science 333, no 6045 (19 août 2011): 1024 26.

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