Tamm Review: Observed and projected climate change impacts on Russia's forests and its carbon balance

Schaphoff S, Reyer CPO, Schepaschenko D, Gerten D, & Shvidenko A (2016). Tamm Review: Observed and projected climate change impacts on Russia's forests and its carbon balance. Forest Ecology and Management 361: 432-444. DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.11.043.

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Abstract

Russia's boreal forests provide numerous important ecosystem functions and services, but they are being increasingly affected by climate change. This review presents an overview of observed and potential future climate change impacts on those forests with an emphasis on their aggregate carbon balance and processes driving changes therein. We summarize recent findings highlighting that radiation increases, temperature-driven longer growing seasons and increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations generally enhance vegetation productivity, while heat waves and droughts tend to decrease it. Estimates of major carbon fluxes such as net biome production agree that the Russian forests as a whole currently act as a carbon sink, but these estimates differ in terms of the magnitude of the sink due to different methods and time periods used. Moreover, models project substantial distributional shifts of forest biomes, but they may overestimate the extent to which the boreal forest will shift poleward as past migration rates have been slow. While other impacts of current climate change are already substantial, and projected impacts could be both large-scale and disastrous, the likelihood for (climate-driven) disturbances such as fires and insect outbreaks, which are expected to increase in the future. We conclude that the mpacts of climate change on Russia's boreal forest are often superimposed by other environmental and societal changes in a complex way, and the interaction of these developments could exacerbate both existing and projected future challenges. Hence, development of adaptation and mitigation strategies for Russia's forests is strongly advised.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: boreal forests; tipping point; carbon balance; carbon pools; permafrost; forest productivity; fir; insects
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: Forest Ecology and Management; 361:432-444 [February 2015] (Published online 28 November 2015)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:54
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2017 06:09
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11708

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