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Louis de Wergifosse, Frédéric André, Hugues Goosse, Steven Caluwaerts, Lesley De Cruz, Rozemien De Troch, Bert Van Schaeybroeck, Mathieu Jonard
 

Annals of Forest Science

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Abstract 

Key message: The change in forest productivity was simulated in six stands in Wallonia (Belgium) following different climate scenarios using a process-based and spatially explicit tree growth model. Simulations revealed a strong and positive impact of the CO 2 fertilization while the negative effect of the transpiration deficit was compensated by longer vegetation periods. The site modulated significantly the forest productivity, mainly through the stand and soil characteristics. Context: Forest net primary production (NPP) reflects forest vitality and is likely to be affected by climate change. Aims: Simulating the impact of changing environmental conditions on NPP and two of its main drivers (transpiration deficit and vegetation period) in six Belgian stands and decomposing the site effect. Methods: Based on the tree growth model HETEROFOR, simulations were performed for each stand between 2011 and 2100 using three climate scenarios and two CO 2 modalities (constant vs time dependent). Then, the climate conditions, soils and stands were interchanged to decompose the site effect in these three components. Results: In a changing climate with constant atmospheric CO 2 , NPP values remained constant due to a compensation of the negative effect of increased transpiration deficit by a positive impact of longer vegetation periods. With time-dependent atmospheric CO 2 , NPP substantially increased, especially for the scenarios with higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For both atmospheric CO 2 modalities, the site characteristics modulated the temporal trends and accounted in total for 56 to 73% of the variability. Conclusion: Long-term changes in NPP were primarily driven by CO 2 fertilization, reinforced transpiration deficit, longer vegetation periods and the site characteristics.

Reference 
 
 
DOI scopus