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Impact of climate change, seedling type and provenance on the risk of damage to Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings in Sweden due to early summer frosts

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Abstract:

A model including site-specific microclimate-affecting properties of a forest regeneration area together with seedling characteristics was used to evaluate the accumulated risk of frost damage to Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings. Climate change in Sweden was simulated on the basis of the regional climate model RCA3. The daily average temperature, the driving factor for bud burst in the model, was adjusted using the difference between the mean of the climate model data for the years 1961-1990 and 2036-2065. The model was run for a highly frost prone, clear-cut site in which bare-rooted Norway spruce seedlings of mid-Swedish provenance were planted. Alternate runs were conducted with data for containerized seedlings and seedlings of Belarusian origin. The study showed that bud burst will occur at earlier dates throughout Sweden in the period 2036-2065 if the climate changes according to either of the climate scenarios examined, compared to the reference period 1961-1990. Furthermore, the risk of damage to Norway spruce seedlings as a result of frost events during summer will increase in southern Sweden and be unaffected or decrease in northern Sweden. The risk of frost damage was exacerbated in containerized seedlings, while the risk was lower for the seedlings of Belarusian provenance when compared with bare-rooted seedlings or seedlings of mid-Swedish origin.

Keywords: Climate change; Norway spruce; frost damage; modeling; provenance; silviculture

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02827581.2011.564399

Affiliations: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Unit for Field-based Forest Research, Asa Forest Research Station, Lammhult, Sweden

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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