Kräuchi N, Kienast F (1993) Modelling subalpine forest dynamics as influenced by a changing environment. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 68: 185-197.


stand dynamics, stand dynamics, Methods: model, model


FORSUM, a forest succession model of the JABOWA/FORET type was applied to simulate possible impacts of environmental changes on subalpine forest ecosystems. The model used is based on approaches of Botkin et. al. (1972), Shugart (1984) and Kienast (1987) and has been improved by implementing soil water movement calculations based on a user-defined one-dimensional nonhomogeneous soil profile. The influence of a possible climatic change on subalpine ecosystems was investigated for three different sites in the Grisons (Switzerland). The scenarios used are based on climate change predictions of General Circulation Models. A temperature increase of 3° C would cause important changes in species composition. Deciduous trees would invade into today"s subalpine belt causing a displacement of various conifers in this zone. Some coniferous species might eventually migrate into today"s alpine zone which would consequently become afforested. Comparing the vegetation changes as predicted by the model FORSUM and FORECE we found that the models generate their main general patterns. However under global warming and a concurrent precipitation decrease total biomass production seems to be overestimated by FORECE. Information about seed dispersal rates (horizontal and vertical), seed availability and soil formation processes should be implemented in these models to improve the reliability of these predictions.

LWF Classification

Network: LWF, Category: ISI,