February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 5, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1992
IMPACTS ON FORESTS AND VEGETATION
Three items from Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt, 110(5),
1991 (in German):
"Possible Effects of a Change in Climate on the Forests of Central
Europe," H. Thomasius (Inst. Waldbau & Forstschutz, Tech. Univ.
Dresden, Pienner Str. 8, 8223 Tharandt, Ger.), 305-330. Discusses the nature of
the climate change situation, then examines several examples of possible changes
in the ranges of tree species and in species competition. Derives preliminary
recommendations for forest management: a resilient and stable forest, with
diversity in species, age and spatial structure, is desirable. Reviews methods
to reduce carbon emissions and sequester carbon through wood and forest
management, but needed most is a drastic reduction in the burning of fossil
"Climate and Forests: Perspectives for the Future," P. Fabian
(Lehrstuhl Bioklimatol., L. Maximilians Univ., Amalientstr. 52, D-8000 Munich
40, Ger.), 286-304. Consideration of human impacts on the climate-forest system
must include both the chemical and physical natures of climate and their
interaction. Discusses examples of such impacts--the greenhouse effect,
destruction of tropical forests, and photochemical smog.
"Thoughts on the Orientation of Forestry," G. Schreyer (Bayer
Staatsminist. Ernahrung Landwirtschaft & Forsten, Ludwigstr. 2, D-8000
Munich 22, Ger.), 331-337. The capability to directly influence the greenhouse
effect through forestry is limited. Development of diversified and stable
forests that closely resemble natural conditions is important.
"Regional Hydrologic and Carbon Balance Responses of Forests
Resulting from Potential Climate Change," S.W. Running (Sch. Forestry,
Univ. Montana, Missoula MT 59812), R.R. Nemani, Clim. Change, 19(4),
349-368, Dec. 1991.
The response of coniferous forest in Montana to doubled CO2, 4° C
warming and 10% greater precipitation was simulated with a forest ecosystem
model. In general, leaf area index increased 10-20% and evapotranspiration
20-30%; hydrologic outflow was projected to decrease up to 30%, which could
nearly dry up rivers and irrigation water in this region. Simulations were
compared for Missoula, Montana, and Jacksonville, Florida, under several
specified climatic alterations. Results of the opposite sign were obtained,
emphasizing the contrasting forest responses possible in different regions.
"Potential Magnitude of Future Vegetation Change in Eastern North
America: Comparisons with the Past," J.T. Overpeck (NGDC, NOAA, 325
Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), P.J. Bartlein, T. Webb III, Science, 254(5032),
692-695, Nov. 1, 1991.
Climate-pollen relationships determined from paleoclimate and pollen records
for the last 18,000 years were applied to three climate model simulations of
doubled CO2. The change in vegetation distribution over the next 200-500 years
could be larger than the overall change during the past 7,000-10,000 years. Some
plant ranges could shift as much as 500-1000 km, with dramatic effects on
silvicultural and natural ecosystems. Forecasting the exact timing and patterns
of change will be difficult.
"Regional Analysis of the Central Great Plains: Sensitivity to
Climate Variability," I.C. Burke (Dept. For. Sci., Colorado State Univ.,
Fort Collins CO 80523), T.G.F. Kittel et al., BioScience, 41(10),
685-692, Nov. 1991.
Uses tools such as remote sensing and geographic information systems to
determine the potential effects of short-term climate variation and long-term
climate trends on net primary production and carbon balance of grassland
ecosystems in the central U.S. Comparison of these effects with those of land
management shows that management decisions may be more important than climate
change for the near-future carbon balance.
"On Predicting the Response of Forests in Eastern North America to
Future Climatic Change," E.R. Cook (Lamont-Doherty Geolog. Observ.,
Columbia Univ., Palisades NY 10964), J. Cole, Clim. Change, 19(3),
271-282, Oct. 1991.
Model simulations of the climatic response of eastern hemlock across its
North American range and of red spruce in the northern Appalachians show that
the assumed climatic responses used are inadequate to explain how these species
are presently responding to climate. Prediction of the responses of these and
possibly other species to future climate change requires better climate response
data, which can be provided by tree-ring analysis.
"Fire and Drought Experiments in Northern Wetlands--A Climate Change
Analog," J.C. Hogenbirk (Dept. Bot., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton T6G 2E9,
Can.), R.W. Wein, Can. J. Bot., 69(9), 1991-1997, Sep. 1991.
Drought and fire, which could increase in frequency and severity because of
global warming, were simulated in mid-boreal wetlands in Alberta, by
transplanting soil blocks upslope to a lower water table and by prescribed
burns. Various changes over the subsequent two years are described. The
persistent domination of plant cover by Eurasian species after fire suggests
that Eurasian species might dominate early successional communities in
Special Issue: "Mycorrhizal Mediation of Plant Response to
Atmospheric Change," M.M. Schoeneberger (Forest Sci. Lab., USDA Forest
Serv., E. Campus, Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln NE 68583), S.R. Shafer, Guest Eds.,
Environ. Pollut., 73(3-4), 1991. Contains seven papers from a
symposium (Jackson, Wyoming, Sep. 1990) on the role, if any, mycorrhizae might
play in the responses of individual plants, regional crops and forests, and
whole ecosystems to environmental stresses such as climate change and pollutant
exposure. Four of the papers follow.
"Mycorrhizal Mediation of Plant Response to Atmospheric Change: Air
Quality Concepts and Research Considerations," S.R. Shafer (USDA-ARS Air
Qual. Prog., North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh NC 27695), M.M. Schoeneberger,
163-177. Most vascular plants form mycorrhizae, so their role in mediating plant
responses to stresses such as elevated CO2, increased UV-B, and altered
temperature and precipitation may be important for predicting effects of such
changes on plants in managed and natural ecosystems. However, mycorrhizae are
rarely targeted to receive specific investigation in research programs.
"Atmospheric Pollutants and Ectomycorrhizae: More Questions Than
Answers?" J. Dighton (Inst. Terr. Ecol., Merlewood Res. Sta.,
Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria LA11 6JU, UK), A.E. Jansen, 179-204. Although
information gained from research on direct pollution effects may serve as a
starting point for climate change studies, no unified models of pollution
effects have emerged. Research gaps are identified, and topics relevant to
climate change (such as the interaction between C supply and nutrient uptake)
"The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change: Responses and Feedbacks
from Below-Ground Systems," R.K. Dixon (ERL, EPA, 200 SW 35th St.,
Corvallis OR 97333), D.P. Turner, 245-262. Below-ground processes will strongly
influence the response of the biosphere to climate change and are likely to
contribute to positive or negative feedbacks. Equilibrium estimates of changes
in below-ground C storage due to doubled CO2 range from a possible sink of 41 Pg
to a possible source of 101 Pg. Components of the terrestrial biosphere could be
managed to sequester or conserve carbon and mitigate accumulation of greenhouse
"Hierarchy Theory as a Guide to Mycorrizal Research on Large-Scale
Problems," E.G. O'Neill (ESD, Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831).
Hierarchy theory provides a paradigm that illustrates the need for mycorrhizal
research (on small-scale processes) to help solve large-scale problems, and
suggests criteria for research priorities. The relevant concepts of the theory
are presented and applied to a series of examples from mycorrhizal research.
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Index of Abbreviations