Fire, late frost, nun moth and drought risks in Germany's forests under climate change
Lasch-Born, Petra; Suckow, Felicitas; Gutsch, Martin; Hauf, Ylva; Hoffmann, Peter; Kollas, Chris; Reyer, Christopher P.O.
published online: Oct 27, 2016
manuscript accepted: Jun 28, 2016
manuscript revision received: May 27, 2016
manuscript revision requested: Mar 14, 2016
manuscript received: Dec 23, 2015
Open Access (paper can be downloaded for free)
Ongoing climate change affects growth and increases biotic and abiotic threats to Germany's forests. We analysed how these risks develop through the mid-century under a variety of climate change scenarios using the process-based forest model 4C. This model allows the calculation of indicators for fire danger, late frost risk for beech and oak, drought stress and nun moth risk. 4C was driven by a set of 4 simulations of future climate generated with the statistical model STARS and with 10 simulations of future climate based on EURO-CORDEX model simulations for the RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 pathways. A set of about 70000 forest stands (Norway spruce, Scots pine, beech, oak, birch), based on the national forest inventory describing 98.4 % of the forest in Germany, was used together with data from a digital soil map. The changes and the range of changes were analysed by comparing results of a recent time period (1971–2005) and a scenario time period (2011–2045). All indicators showed higher risks for the scenario time period compared to the recent time period, except the late frost risk indicators, if averaged over all climate scenarios. The late frost risk for beech and oaks decreased for the main forest sites. Under recent climate conditions, the highest risk with regard to all five indicators was found to be in the Southwest Uplands and the northern part of Germany. The highest climate-induced uncertainty regarding the indicators for 2011–2045 is projected for the East Central Uplands and Northeast German Plain.