Long-term tree species population dynamics in Swiss forest reserves influenced by forest structure and climate
- Journal Article
Changes in tree species composition can have strong effects on ecosystem functioning and the services provided by forests. Empirical observations can provide an improved understanding of the drivers of species population dynamics, yet long-term datasets are scarce in natural forests. This study used inventory data of the Swiss forest reserve network to assess tree population dynamics over the past 60 years. Tree status, species and dbh were repeatedly measured between 1956 and 2018 in 211 permanent plots of 34 forest reserves that covered a wide environmental gradient. Differences in species richness and tree density were compared between the first and last inventory. Furthermore, we used generalized linear mixed effect models to estimate the processes of ingrowth and tree mortality of seven abundant species (Abies alba, Acer pseudoplatanus, Fagus sylvatica, Fraxinus excelsior, Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris and Quercus spp.) separately as a function of stand structural attributes and climate. We found a general decline in the density of the dominant species, with a low recruitment of light-demanding species and an increase in species richness, particularly in the colline vegetation zone. Both species-specific ingrowth and tree mortality were influenced by stand density and climate variables. Tree mortality increased with live tree density and increasing temperature. Ingrowth increased with tree density and decreased with higher temperature. Therefore, forest structural properties and climate have a strong influence on species population dynamics, and both are essential for predicting ingrowth and tree mortality in forest ecosystems. Show more
Journal / seriesForest Ecology and Management
Pages / Article No.
SubjectForest dynamics; Forest reserves; Species dynamics; Ingrowth; Tree mortality; Climate change
Organisational unit09723 - Griess, Verena C. / Griess, Verena C.
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