Climate and environment

Climate and environment

Not only does the change in climate have a direct or reciprocal effect on the forest but also various other environmental influences. On the one hand forest management is called upon to promote the adjustment and resilience of the forest. On the other it diminishes some of the human activities affecting the environment.

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Beech foliage used to monitor the impact of a waste incinerator plant

For 40 years, researchers investigated the concentration of chloride, heavy metals and other elements in the foliage of a beech forest in the surrounding area of a waste incinerator.

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Rising CO2 levels are changing how fast forests cycle water

With rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere transpiration of plants may be changing. A better understanding of this process is important because changes to the water cycle can affect flooding, soil moisture, river flow, and weather changes linked to climate change.

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Mapping the potential future ranges of tree species in the Alps

We have used a species distribution model (SDM) to predict how species ranges may shift in the Alps as a result of projected climate change. Here we focus on the potential future range shift for two species Fagus sylvatica L. (European beech) and Picea abies (L.) Karst. (Norway spruce).

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Future Climate of the European Alps

Temperatures in the Alps are anticipated to increase between 1.8 and 3.8 °C by 2080, with the highest degree of warming in summer. The Alps will face higher warming than the surrounding mainland with consequences for forestry management.

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Climate change: Forests as a major keeper of greenhouse gases at risk of being lost entirely

Forests might lose their critical role as massive sinks for absorbing greenhouse gases. Climate change-induced environmental stresses threaten to damage forests and even decimate them worldwide.

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Tree-rings show an extensive increase in precipitation

For the first time a 1000 year old oxygen isotope data series has been produced from tree-rings. Using this method precipitation development in the Karakorum Mountains in Northern Pakistan was reconstructed for the last thousand years.

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Ozone levels and injury symptoms in the extreme summer of 2003

Extreme weather conditions, always a stress factor for trees, can lead to vitality loss and to the development of visual injury symptoms. Due to exceptional weather conditions the record summer of 2003 affected the forests in many ways.

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Heavy metals in Swiss forest soils

Scientists determine the soil contamination with heavy metals in 95 selected forest sites in Switzerland. The results show that heavy metal concentrations often exceed government guide levels.

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Climate change threatens Scots pine stands in the Wallis

The main trigger of the Scots pine decline in the Wallis (Switzerland) is the changing climate. At elevations up to 1200 m, the climatic conditions become too warm and too dry for the Scots pine growing in the Wallis. They are about to be replaced by broadleaved trees, in particular by the sessile oak.

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Ozone reduces the growth of poplar

Cheerless expectations for poplar plantations. In particular, the poplar responds with reduced growth rate to elevated ambient ozone concentrations which scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) have now been able to demonstrate.

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