Forestry under Climate Change. Is Time a Tool for Sustainable Forest Management?


Changing climate conditions are known to influence forest tree growth response and the CO2 cycle. Dendroclimatological research has shown that the climate signal, species composition, and growth trends have changed in different types of forest ecosystems during the last century. Under current and demonstrated changes in climate variability at the geographic, regional, and local levels tree growth shows also variability and trends that can be non-stationary during time even at relatively short distance between sites. In forest planning and management, yield tables, site quality indices, age class, rate of growth, and spatial distribution are some of the most used tools and parameters. However, these methods do not involve climate variability during time although climate is the main driver in trends of forest and tree growth. Previous research warns about the risk that forest management under changing climatic conditions could amplify their negative effects. For example, changing climate conditions may impact on temperature and/or precipitation thresholds critical to forest tree growth. Forest biomass, resilience, and CO2 storage may be damaged unless forest planning and management implement the relationships between climate variability and trends of tree growth. A positive aspect is that, periods of favorable climate conditions may allow harvesting higher amount of wood mass and storing more CO2 than traditional planning methods. And, the average length of both favorable and adverse periods appears to occur within the validity period of a forest management plan. Here, we show a conceptual development to implement climate variability in forest management in the view of continuing the research.

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D’Aprile, F. , Tapper, N. and Marchetti, M. (2015) Forestry under Climate Change. Is Time a Tool for Sustainable Forest Management?. Open Journal of Forestry, 5, 329-336. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2015.54028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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