NEMKLIM: Nemoral Forests under Climate Extremes

Ecosystem adaptations and land use consequences, in particular for the energy wood potentials along climatic gradients in Romania and Germany. Deciduous forests during climate change- what can we learn from Romanian beech and oak forests for the future of German forests?

The nemoral (temperate) deciduous forests cover large parts of Central Europe and have important functions for landscape ecology (climate, water, soil, carbon storage) and nature conservation (biodiversity). They serve the land use (material and energetic way) and recreation sector.

All these functions depend on the composition and vitality of the forests. External factors such as short to medium-term disturbances and extreme events (storms, pest infestation or drought) or directed changes in site factors influence the dynamics and interactions in forest ecosystems. A changing location factor, which has a massive impact on forest growth, the stability and resilience of temperate deciduous forests, is the climate. Central European IPCC modeling for medium greenhouse gas / mid-range anthropogenic radiation levels (RCP 4.5) is projected to reach + 2.4 ° C average annual temperatures by 2080 and a significant increase in weather-related extreme events.

One focus of the project is that tree species of the Central European (sub-) mesophytic hornbeam beech and oak hornbeam forests (“competitors”) in Western Romania reach its dry climatic limits and finally of drought-tolerant tree species of the Pannonian-Balkan shrub forests (“stress-tolerators”). In the vicinity of its heat and dryness limited “rear edge occurrences”, the “competitors” form drought-adapted / acclimatized modifications. Beyond that, the light-based stress-tolerators develop remarkable varieties of adaptations. Of particular interest is thefore the Quercus petraea complex.