Norway spruce is one of the most common and economically most important tree species in Northern and Central Europe. In recent decades changes in the environment and their effects on forest productivity and forest health are discussed. With respect to the discussion on global change, effects of climatic changes as well as effects of atmospheric deposition on forest productivity are of general interest.
The four major objectives of the proposed project are:
1) to describe past variation and changes in growth rate of Norway spruce,
2) to identify and quantify environmental factors which control growth variatio
3) to investigate effects of increased average age and density of stands on tre growth, tree sensitivity, and tree mortality in respect to climatic changes.
4) to develop scenarios of future growth under changing climatic conditions.
FOUR regions have been selected for this investigation: Norway, Finland, Southwestern Germany and Eastern Germany. The research areas represent a wide range of climatic conditions and a wide range of nitrogen and sulphur deposition conditions in Northern and Central Europe.
The site-related analysis of past changes in growth rates of Norway spruce gives a retrospective view of periodic growth variations and longterm growth trends. Up to now, a lot of information on forest growth has been accumulated on a regional level. This project aims to coordinate a joint research effort to investigate and interpret the growth and growth changes of Norway spruce along elevational and longitudinal gradients.
Changes in growth will be compared with fluctuations in environmental factors such as climatic conditions and atmospheric depositions and with past land use in order to identify and quantify the driving forces behind growth variations. Growth-climate response patterns will be studied based on interannual as well as intraannual growth variations. Scenarios of future growth trends will be based on these results.
Results of the quantitative analysis of past impacts of environmental changes on growth of Norway spruce will help to understand the observed growth dynamics more clearly and are of immediate relevance for silvicultural and forest management planning on a sustained yield basis. Economical and ecological yield and risk assessment, as well as site-related assessment of climate change impact on Norway spruce forest ecosystems will be more reliable. Information gained by the proposed project contributes to the formulation of silvicultural management strategies to mitigate effects of climatic change on stability of forest ecosystems.
Keywords: Norway spruce, growth changes, growth trends, risk assessment, interannual growth variation, intraannual growth variation, N- and Sdeposition impact, tree mortality, climate change impact, scenario modelling.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts