Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Online atlas shows climate change impact on forest distribution patterns in Iberian Peninsula

Date:
November 25, 2010
Source:
Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona
Summary:
Researchers in Spain have developed the Suitability Atlas of Woody Plants of the Iberian Peninsula, a series of digital maps available online which for the first time reveal the present and future degree of adaptation to climate conditions of the main plant species found in the forests.

Forecast for the distribution of beech forest suitability areas for the 2050-2080 period
Credit: Image courtesy of Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona

Researchers from Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona (UAB) and CREAF have developed the Suitability Atlas of Woody Plants of the Iberian Peninsula, a series of digital maps available online which for the first time reveal the present and future degree of adaptation to climate conditions of the main plant species found in the forests throughout the Iberian Peninsula. Data shows the tendency of forests to move higher in altitude and migrate towards the north.

Today, territory and species conservation managers need to rely on data and empirical methods on which to base their protection policies. Within the context of Global Change, the maps offered can be useful to evaluate possible changes in the distribution of forests in the future, which could lead to an in depth study of mitigation and/or adaptation tools needed to face these changes.

Until now, a few maps had been drawn for specific woody plants or for partial areas of the peninsula. The Suitability Atlas of Woody Plants however offers a global view of the Iberian Peninsula. The series of maps were created to determine the degree of suitability to climate and/or topographic conditions of the forests' main woody plants. With the help of these maps one can verify, in an area of 200 metres, the topo-climatic suitability of the Iberian Peninsula. In addition, these values can be consulted for the current climatic scenario (1950-1998) and for future projections proposed by one of the foremost research centres dedicated to climate change, the Hadley Centre, located in Exeter, UK.

The Atlas combines advanced methodologies and technologies such as Geographic Information Systems, multivariate statistics and interoperable geoportals to offer both rigorous cartographic standards and information that can be consulted by the general public.

The Atlas was developed by a group of researchers from the UAB Department of Animal Biology, Plant Biology and Ecology, in collaboration with the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), under the framework of the R&D&I National Plan.

Main features of the Atlas

  • Completeness: covering almost all woody species found in forests
  • Quality initial data: both the Digital Climate Atlas of the Iberian Peninsula (ACDPI) and the third National Forest Inventory are cartography databases with high spatial resolution and with proven data quality.
  • Detailed resolution: 200 m spatial resolution
  • Objectivity: numerical quality (known level of error) calculated and documented for each map.
  • Interoperability: format in which maps can be viewed allows users to contrast information with other map databases
  • Accessibility: maps can be consulted online in GIS format without the need of additional installations.

First results

Researchers have already obtained the first scientific results with the help of Atlas data. They were able to verify that many species could be affected by the reduction in suitability in the regions they currently inhabit. They detected a tendency in forests to migrate towards higher altitudes and more northern latitudes. In this sense, mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees are seen as important protection areas of biodiversity within the context of Climate Change.

Nevertheless, not all species react the same when suffering the consequences of climate change. Species such as aleppo pine, stone pine, or holm oak are more resistant and may even occupy larger areas in the future. In contrast, species such as scots pine or beech are more affected by rising temperatures and longer dry periods and therefore the space they occupy may begin to decrease.

At these moments researchers are studying the total forest surface which could be lost or substituted by scrubs, as well as interactions between forest species when their area of distribution is modified. The fact that forest surfaces are decreasing is of great relevance, since this represents a reduction in CO2 consumption, an increase in the risk of land erosion and modifications in water cycles.

The Atlas is available online at: http://www.opengis.uab.cat/IdoneitatPI/index.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona. "Online atlas shows climate change impact on forest distribution patterns in Iberian Peninsula." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125082330.htm>.
Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona. (2010, November 25). Online atlas shows climate change impact on forest distribution patterns in Iberian Peninsula. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125082330.htm
Universitat Auṭnoma de Barcelona. "Online atlas shows climate change impact on forest distribution patterns in Iberian Peninsula." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125082330.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) — Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins