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Tree Physiol. 2005 Jul;25(7):813-23.

Modeling climate change effects on the potential production of French plains forests at the sub-regional level.

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INRA-EPHYSE 69 route d'Arcachon, 33612 Gazinet Cédex, France.


We modeled the effects of climate change and two forest management scenarios on wood production and forest carbon balance in French forests using process-based models of forest growth. We combined data from the national forest inventory and soil network survey, which were aggregated over a 50 x 50-km grid, i.e., the spatial resolution of the climate scenario data. We predicted and analyzed the climate impact on potential forest production over the period 1960-2100. All models predicted a slight increase in potential forest yield until 2030-2050, followed by a plateau or a decline around 2070-2100, with overall, a greater increase in yield in northern France than in the south. Gross and net primary productivities were more negatively affected by soil water and atmospheric water vapor saturation deficits in western France because of a more pronounced shift in seasonal rainfall from summer to winter. The rotation-averaged values of carbon flux and production for different forest management options were estimated during four years (1980, 2015, 2045 and 2080). Predictions were made using a two-dimensional matrix covering the range of local soil and climate conditions. The changes in ecosystem fluxes and forest production were explained by the counterbalancing effect of rising CO2 concentration and increasing water deficit. The effect of climate change decreased with rotation length from short rotations with high production rates and low standing biomasses to long rotations with low productivities and greater standing biomasses. Climate effects on productivity, both negative and positive, were greatest on high fertility sites. Forest productivity in northern France was enhanced by climate change, increasingly from west to east, whereas in the southwestern Atlantic region, productivity was reduced by climate change to an increasing degree from west to east.

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