A BiomeBGC-based Evaluation of Dryness Stress of Central European Forests
- 1University of Trier, Environmental Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics, Germany
- 2University of Trier, Geobotany, Germany
Keywords: Ecophysiological forest modelling, climate change
Abstract. Dryness stress is expected to become a more common problem in central European forests due to the predicted regional climate change. Forest management has to adapt to climate change in time and think ahead several decades in decisions on which tree species to plant at which locations. The summer of 2003 was the most severe dryness event in recent time, but more periods like this are expected. Since forests on different sites react quite differently to drought conditions, we used the process-based growth model BiomeBGC and climate time series from sites all over Germany to simulate the reaction of deciduous and coniferous tree stands in different characteristics of drought stress. Times with exceptionally high values of water vapour pressure deficit coincided with negative modelled values of net primary production (NPP). In addition, in these warmest periods the usually positive relationship between temperature and NPP was inversed, i.e., under stress conditions, more sunlight does not lead to more photosynthesis but to stomatal closure and reduced productivity. Thus we took negative NPP as an indicator for drought stress. In most regions, 2003 was the year with the most intense stress, but the results were quite variable regionally. We used the Modis MOD17 gross and net primary production product time series and MOD12 land cover classification to validate the spatial patterns observed in the model runs and found good agreement between modelled and observed behaviour. Thus, BiomeBGC simulations with realistic site parameterization and climate data in combination with species- and variety-specific ecophysiological constants can be used to assist in decisions on which trees to plant on a given site.