Our climate is changing rapidly, with milder, wetter winters, warmer summers, longer growing seasons and more frequent extreme conditions, including drought periods and heavy rainfall events. The projected rate of climate change is unprecedented and therefore action is essential now to improve the resilience of forests and woodlands, and to protect the benefits that they […]
The changing climate is affecting our trees, forests and woodlands, how they grow and survive and the important ecosystem services they provide. For our forests and woodlands to thrive, adaptation measures must be considered carefully, and action taken. Ten measures to reduce climate risks and improve resilience are presented.
Milder and wetter winters, followed by increased spring rainfall, are likely to enhance the survival and infection potential of many tree pathogens. Hotter, drier summers leading to drought stress in trees will also increase their susceptibility to disease and expand the distribution range of some pathogens. The increased incidence and severity of diseases caused by Phytophthora species reduces the benefits that trees provide, including climate change mitigation.
Many studies quantify short-term drought impact on tree growth relative to pre-drought growth averages. However, fewer studies examine the extent to which droughts of differing severity differentially impact tree growth or shape stand dynamics. Focusing on three droughts in high and low density stands of Pinus sylvestris in Scotland, we calculated pre-drought growth averages using […]
Understanding the impacts of extreme drought on forest productivity requires a comprehensive assessment of tree and forest resilience. However, current approaches to quantifying resilience limit our understanding of forest response dynamics, recovery trajectories and drought legacies by constraining the temporal scale and resolution of assessment. We compared individual tree growth histories with growth forecasted using […]
Sitka spruce is the major conifer species in British upland forests and is predominantly managed as even-aged, single-species plantations with rotation lengths of less than 50 years using a “patch clear-felling” system. Evidence on the impact of clear-felling on the carbon, water and energy balances of plantation forestry is sparse and extreme weather events, such […]
Protecting our forests from pollutant deposition is and has been a topical issue for some time. Nitrogen, as well as being an essential nutrient for trees, is one of the most important of these pollutants. This article discusses the extent and severity of the issues associated with nitrogen pollution in our forests. By Fiona Kennedy. […]
• Novel dendrochronological modelling was developed to explore oak stem growth trends.
• Trees with long-term AOD symptoms may have been predisposed many decades earlier.
• Diseased trees struggle to take advantage of favourable growing conditions.
• Historic episodes of stress may impact the future resilience of oaks to disturbance.
The British forestry sector lacks reliable dynamic growth models for stands of improved Sitka spruce, the most important commercial forest type in Great Britain. The aim of this study is to fill this gap by trialling a new modelling framework and to lay the foundations of a future dynamic growth simulator for that forest type. […]
We developed a climatic sensitive model to simultaneously estimate the emergence and survival of Corsican pine natural regeneration in Spain through lifetime analysis. This work is highly relevant for managing the species in a context of climate change. Our modelling approach represents a breakthrough in the state of the art of lifetime analysis.
Highlights Good forest practice was effective at protecting water quality. Streamwater acidity and ecology unaffected by conifer afforestation. Hurricanes caused marked changes in streamwater acidity and water colour. Total P increased after fertiliser applications but no impact on ecological status. Findings will inform future woodland expansion within sensitive water catchments. Abstract Our study was […]
The six main foliar pathogens already causing significant damage to conifers and broadleaved tree species in the UK are described along with the likely impact of climate change on their spread and severity.
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