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Impacts of changing frost regimes on Swedish forests: Incorporating cold hardiness in a regional ecosystem model
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2010 (English)In: Ecological Modelling, ISSN 0304-3800, Vol. 221, no 2, 303-313 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Understanding the effects of climate change on boreal forests which hold about 7% of the global terrestrial biomass carbon is a major issue. An important mechanism in boreal tree species is acclimatization to seasonal variations in temperature (cold hardiness) to withstand low temperatures during winter. Temperature drops below the hardiness level may cause frost damage. Increased climate variability under global and regional warming might lead to more severe frost damage events, with consequences for tree individuals, populations and ecosystems. We assessed the potential future impacts of changing frost regimes on Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) in Sweden. A cold hardiness and frost damage model were incorporated within a dynamic ecosystem model, LPJ-GUESS. The frost tolerance of Norway spruce was calculated based on daily mean temperature fluctuations, corresponding to time and temperature dependent chemical reactions and cellular adjustments. The severity of frost damage was calculated as a growth-reducing factor when the minimum temperature was below the frost tolerance. The hardiness model was linked to the ecosystem model by reducing needle biomass and thereby growth according to the calculated severity of frost damage. A sensitivity analysis of the hardiness model revealed that the severity of frost events was significantly altered by variations in the hardening rate and dehardening rate during current climate conditions. The modelled occurrence and intensity of frost events was related to observed crown defoliation, indicating that 6-12% of the needle loss could be attributed to frost damage. When driving the combined ecosystem-hardiness model with future climate from a regional climate model (RCM), the results suggest a decreasing number and strength of extreme frost events particularly in northern Sweden and strongly increasing productivity for Norway spruce by the end of the 21st century as a result of longer growing seasons and increasing atmospheric CO(2) concentrations. However, according to the model, frost damage might decrease the potential productivity by as much as 25% early in the century. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 221, no 2, 303-313 p.
Keyword [en]
Norway spruce, Picea abies (L. Karst.), LPJ-GUESS, Boreal forest production, Physiological tolerance, Frost hardiness, Hardening/dehardening cycles, Climate change, Climate extremes
National Category
Climate Research
Research subject
Climate
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-575DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.05.014ISI: 000273628800018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:smhi-575DiVA: diva2:806870
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2015-04-20 Last updated: 2015-04-22Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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