Comparing the provision of ecosystem services in plantation forests under alternative climate change adaptation management options in Wales

Duncan Ray, Stephen Bathgate, Darren Moseley, Philip Taylor, Bruce Nicoll, Stefania Pizzirani, Barry Gardiner
2014 Regional Environmental Change  
To compare the provision of ecosystem services in plantation forests under alternative climate change adaptation management trajectories, we interpolated climatic variables from the UK 11-member regional climate models to use at high resolution in forest management situations. We used expert opinion to derive the links between coarse-scaled UK National Ecosystem Assessment scenarios and forest management alternatives (FMA) in a simulation of forest planning and management under climate change
more » ... certainty. Nine indicators were used to compare the provision of forest ecosystem services from four alternative management trajectories based on FMA types under a changing climate. These show that by 2080 a 'business as usual' form of forest management at both Clocaenog and Gwydyr forests will become unsuitable under the two warmest and driest climate variants, marginal under four variants, and borderline suitable under the remaining five variants. This implies that if future forest policy requires the continued delivery of a wide range of ecosystem services, including, home grown timber, biodiversity, and the carbon mitigation benefit from woodlands, then there is 20-50 % chance of failing to deliver on some of these services, unless some adaptation measures to climatic impacts occurs, such as transformation to more diverse species forests managed using low-impact silviculture systems. We show that the benefits of achieving this will be to minimise most of the impacts that climate change would otherwise have on the delivery of ecosystem services from forests.
doi:10.1007/s10113-014-0644-6 fatcat:65glhqpuyjhizexsj6dpa3o64q