Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Spanish forest ecosystems: Carbon emission will be higher in second half of century

Date:
March 3, 2014
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
Spanish forest ecosystems will probably emit high quantities of carbon dioxide in the second half of the 21st century. This is the conclusion of a report that reviews the results obtained from the implementation of a forest simulation model that serves as a tool to simulate forest growth processes under several environmental conditions and to optimize Mediterranean forests management strategies in the context of climate change.

In a report, authors highlight that management strategies adapted to environmental changes are crucial to the conservation of Iberian forests.
Credit: Carles Gracia

Spanish forest ecosystems will quite probably emit high quantities of carbon dioxide in the second half of the 21st century. This is the conclusion of a report that reviews the results obtained from the implementation of the forest simulation model GOTILWA+, a tool to simulate forest growth processes under several environmental conditions and to optimize Mediterranean forests management strategies in the context of climate change.

Related Articles


The report was published on the latest issue of the ecology and environment journal Ecosistemas, edited by the Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology. Peer review was led by professors Santiago Sabat้ and Carlos Gracia, of the Department of Ecology at the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), and the expert Daniel Nadal, of UB's former Department.

The study analyses data obtained from the simulation forest growth model GOTILWA+ (Growth Of Trees Is Limited by WAter), based on ecophysiological processes. The model enables to explore the effects of climate change on forestry ecosystems under changed environmental conditions and to simulate different management scenarios and compare them.

Future perspectives for Spanish forests

In climate change scenarios simulated by the model GOTILWA+ -- within the Consolider-Ingenio project Montes and the research project Med-Forestream -- , net primary productivity of Spanish forests (how much carbon dioxide plants take in during photosynthesis minus how much carbon dioxide they release during respiration) will decrease from the second half of this century. Consequently, woodlands that now drain carbon will become carbon producers because plant respiration (a process in which oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide is given out) and the decomposition of death organic matter will exceed photosynthesis processes (carbon sequestration and oxygen release).

GOTILWA+ also explores the responses of different forest types to water availability. Climate change involves an increase of aridity and evaporative rates. In this context, simulations show that an increase of evapotranspiration will occur in Spanish forests; it will have a negative impact on other ecosystems, for example, on rivers.

The most sensitive areas

The most sensitive areas to climate change effects are Mediterranean forests of evergreen oak, Alepo pine and Scots pine, located in the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula. Forest located in the north-west will be also affected, as simulations show a severe precipitation decrease in this area. Moreover, simulations show an increase of these forests' sensitivity to aridity. For instance, beech forests are particularly sensitive to a slight increase in average temperature as well as those forests located at low height, so altitudinal migrations will probably occur.

Forest management: key to mitigate climate change impact

In the report, Gracia, Sabat้ and Nadal highlight that management strategies adapted to environmental changes are crucial to the conservation of Iberian forests and the resources they provide to society. Particularly, it is essential to consider that Mediterranean forest ecosystems' growth is already limited by water availability. Furthermore, authors point out that in order to solve the limitations of GOTILWA+, the model is under a process of revision and innovation. "A satisfactory implementation of the model should be based on extensive knowledge on territory: weather conditions and edaphological characteristics, plant physiology, and main features concerning structure and population," conclude researchers.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Nadal Sala, Santiago Sabat. GOTILWA a process-based model that evaluates the effects of climate change on forests and explores forest management options for its mitigation. Ecosistemas, 2013; 22 (3): 29 DOI: 10.7818/ECOS.2013.22-3.05

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "Spanish forest ecosystems: Carbon emission will be higher in second half of century." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083559.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2014, March 3). Spanish forest ecosystems: Carbon emission will be higher in second half of century. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083559.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "Spanish forest ecosystems: Carbon emission will be higher in second half of century." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083559.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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