Simulating Climate Change Impacts on Hybrid-Poplar and Black Locust Short Rotation Coppices (2018)

Seserman D., Pohle I., Veste M., Freese D.

Forests, 9 (7), 419



In Brandenburg, north-eastern Germany, climate change is associated with increasing annual temperatures and decreasing summer precipitation. Appraising short rotation coppices (SRCs), given their long-time planning horizon demands for systematic assessments of woody biomass production under a considerable spectrum of climate change prospects. This paper investigates the prospective growth sensitivity of poplar and black locust SRCs, established in Brandenburg to a variety of weather conditions and long-term climate change, from 2015 to 2054, by a combined experimental and simulation study. The analysis employed (i) a biophysical, process-based model to simulate the daily tree growth and (ii) 100 realisations of the statistical regional climate model STAR 2K. In the last growing period, the simulations showed that the assumed climate change could lead to a decrease in the woody biomass of about 5 Mg ha−1 (18%) for poplar and a decrease of about 1.7 Mg ha−1 (11%) for black locust trees with respect to the median observed in the reference period. The findings corroborate the potential tree growth vulnerability to prospective climatic changes, particularly to changes in water availability and underline the importance of coping management strategies in SRCs for forthcoming risk assessments and adaptation scenarios.