Modelling regional climate change effects on potential natural ecosystems in Sweden
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Climatic Change
Förlag: Springer Netherlands
This study aims to demonstrate the potential of a process-based regional ecosystem model, LPJ-GUESS, driven by climate scenarios generated by a regional climate model system (RCM) to generate predictions useful for assessing effects of climatic and CO2 change on the key ecosystem services of carbon uptake and storage. Scenarios compatible with the A2 and B2 greenhouse gas emission scenarios of the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) and with boundary conditions from two general circulation models (GCMs) - HadAM3H and ECHAM4/OPYC3 - were used in simulations to explore changes in tree species distributions, vegetation structure, productivity and ecosystem carbon stocks for the late 21st Century, thus accommodating a proportion of the GCM-based and emissions-based uncertainty in future climate development. The simulations represented in this study were of the potential natural vegetation ignoring direct anthropogenic effects. Results suggest that shifts in climatic zones may lead to changes in species distribution and community composition among seven major tree species of natural Swedish forests. All four climate scenarios were associated with an extension of the boreal forest treeline with respect to altitude and latitude. In the boreal and boreo-nemoral zones, the dominance of Norway spruce and to a lesser extent Scots pine was reduced in favour of deciduous broadleaved tree species. The model also predicted substantial increases in vegetation net primary productivity (NPP), especially in central Sweden. Expansion of forest cover and increased local biomass enhanced the net carbon sink over central and northern Sweden, despite increased carbon release through decomposition processes in the soil. In southern Sweden, reduced growing season soil moisture levels counterbalanced the positive effects of a longer growing season and increased carbon supply on NPP, with the result that many areas were converted from a sink to a source of carbon by the late 21st century. The economy-oriented A2 emission scenario would lead to higher NPP and stronger carbon sinks according to the simulations than the environment-oriented B2 scenario.
- Physical Geography
- ISSN: 0165-0009