Forest-Climate Ecosystem Interactions

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 329897

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA
Interests: terrestrial ecosystem modeling; forest disturbance and recovery processes; dynamic vegetation processes; model sensitivity and uncertainty; tropical and boreal forest response to changing climates

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Guest Editor
Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth College, 6182 Steele Hall, Room 113, Hanover, NH 03755, USA
Interests: ecosystem science; ecosystem modeling; remote sensing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Water Research Commission (WRC), Water Utilisation in Agriculture, 4 Daventry St, Lynnwood Manor, Pretoria 0081, South Africa
2. Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
Interests: climate change adaptation; building resilience; sustainable development; nexus planning; GIS; remote sensing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Special Issue on “Forest-Climate Ecosystem Interactions”. The terrestrial biosphere plays a major role as a dynamic component of the climate system. Large-scale changes in vegetation cover can alter climate processes both locally and globally. For example, shifts in tropical or boreal forest coverage can have strong implications for carbon dynamics, but also alter regional and local surface energy and water balances, thus influencing temperature, evaporation, transpiration, and albedo. Likewise, climate dynamics such as water deficiencies or heat stress control vegetation growth and survival. Partitioning between sensible and latent heat impacts biogeochemical processes of carbon fluxes in (CO2 assimilation capacity), and carbon fluxes out (respiration), which determine future carbon storage. As a result, feedback interactions between forest biogeophysical processes and climate can either enhance or mitigate climate change and many unknowns still exist regarding these interactions, as is evidenced by the large uncertainty contributed by land cover to Earth System Model projections. 

To address this uncertainty and document new insights into forest-climate interactions, this special issue will feature research that seeks to better understand forest biogeophyscial or biogeochemical processes and climate interactions, the influence of plant functional processes at regional to larger scales, and the quantification of interactions between the water-energy-climate nexus. The issue will focus on new approaches which combine ecosystem and forest modeling with forest monitoring, land-atmosphere interactions with a focus on changes to albedo, evapotranspiration, vapor pressure deficient, and carbon fluxes to estimate carbon storage. We welcome submissions that investigate these dynamics across all scales and regions.

Dr. Jennifer A. Holm
Dr. David A. Lutz
Dr. Luxon Nhamo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • energy balance
  • feedbacks
  • biogeophysical
  • biogeochemical
  • ecosystem modeling
  • carbon

Published Papers (4 papers)

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13 pages, 7250 KiB  
Article
Identifying Western North American Tree Populations Vulnerable to Drought under Observed and Projected Climate Change
by Kathryn Levesque and Andreas Hamann
Climate 2022, 10(8), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10080114 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2612
Abstract
Global climate change has affected forest health and productivity. A highly visible, direct climate impact is dieback caused by drought periods in moisture-limited forest ecosystems. Here, we have used a climate moisture index (CMI), which has been developed in order to map forest–grassland [...] Read more.
Global climate change has affected forest health and productivity. A highly visible, direct climate impact is dieback caused by drought periods in moisture-limited forest ecosystems. Here, we have used a climate moisture index (CMI), which has been developed in order to map forest–grassland transitions, to investigate the shifts of the zero-CMI isopleths, in order to infer drought vulnerabilities. Our main objective was to identify populations of the 24 most common western North American forest tree species that are most exposed to drought conditions by using a western North American forest inventory database with 55,700 plot locations. We have found that climate change projections primarily increase the water deficits for tree populations that are already in vulnerable positions. In order to test the realism of this vulnerability assessment, we have compared the observed population dieback with changes in index values between the 1961–1990 reference period and a recent 1991–2020 average. The drought impacts that were predicted by negative CMI values largely conformed to the observed dieback in Pinus edulis, Populus tremuloides, and Pinus ponderosa. However, there was one notable counter-example. The observed dieback in the Canadian populations of Populus tremuloides were not associated with directional trends in the drought index values but were instead caused by a rare extreme drought event that was not apparently linked to directional climate change. Nevertheless, a macro-climatic drought index approach appeared to be generally suitable to identify and forecast the drought threats to the tree populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest-Climate Ecosystem Interactions)
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19 pages, 10243 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Urban Greening Scenarios for Improving Outdoor Thermal Comfort in Neighbourhoods of Lecce (Southern Italy)
by Elisa Gatto, Fabio Ippolito, Gennaro Rispoli, Oliver Savio Carlo, Jose Luis Santiago, Eeva Aarrevaara, Rohinton Emmanuel and Riccardo Buccolieri
Climate 2021, 9(7), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9070116 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4373
Abstract
This study analyses the interactions and impacts between multiple factors i.e., urban greening, building layout, and meteorological conditions that characterise the urban microclimate and thermal comfort in the urban environment. The focus was on two neighbourhoods of Lecce city (southern Italy) characterised through [...] Read more.
This study analyses the interactions and impacts between multiple factors i.e., urban greening, building layout, and meteorological conditions that characterise the urban microclimate and thermal comfort in the urban environment. The focus was on two neighbourhoods of Lecce city (southern Italy) characterised through field campaigns and modelling simulations on a typical hot summer day. Field campaigns were performed to collect greening, building geometry, and microclimate data, which were employed in numerical simulations of several greening scenarios using the Computational Fluid Dynamics-based and microclimate model ENVI-met. Results show that, on a typical summer day, trees may lead to an average daily decrease of air temperature by up to 1.00 °C and an improvement of thermal comfort in terms of Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT) by up to 5.53 °C and Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) by up to 0.53. This decrease is more evident when the urban greening (in terms of green surfaces and trees) is increased by 1266 m2 in the first neighbourhood and 1988 m2 in the second one, with respect to the current scenario, proving that shading effect mainly contributes to improving the urban microclimate during daytime. On the contrary, the trapping effect of heat, stored by the surfaces during the day and released during the evening, induces an increase of the spatially averaged MRT by up to 2 °C during the evenings and a slight deterioration of thermal comfort, but only locally where the concentration of high LAD trees is higher. This study contributes to a better understanding of the ecosystem services provided by greening with regard to microclimate and thermal comfort within an urban environment for several hours of the day. It adds knowledge about the role of green areas in a Mediterranean city, an important hot spot of climate change, and thus it can be a guide for important urban regeneration plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest-Climate Ecosystem Interactions)
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20 pages, 4437 KiB  
Article
A Long-Term Spatiotemporal Analysis of Vegetation Greenness over the Himalayan Region Using Google Earth Engine
by Nikul Kumari, Ankur Srivastava and Umesh Chandra Dumka
Climate 2021, 9(7), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9070109 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 69 | Viewed by 319996 | Correction
Abstract
The Himalayas constitute one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the Indian sub-continent. Vegetation greenness driven by climate in the Himalayan region is often overlooked as field-based studies are challenging due to high altitude and complex topography. Although the basic information [...] Read more.
The Himalayas constitute one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the Indian sub-continent. Vegetation greenness driven by climate in the Himalayan region is often overlooked as field-based studies are challenging due to high altitude and complex topography. Although the basic information about vegetation cover and its interactions with different hydroclimatic factors is vital, limited attention has been given to understanding the response of vegetation to different climatic factors. The main aim of the present study is to analyse the relationship between the spatiotemporal variability of vegetation greenness and associated climatic and hydrological drivers within the Upper Khoh River (UKR) Basin of the Himalayas at annual and seasonal scales. We analysed two vegetation indices, namely, normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) time-series data, for the last 20 years (2001–2020) using Google Earth Engine. We found that both the NDVI and EVI showed increasing trends in the vegetation greening during the period under consideration, with the NDVI being consistently higher than the EVI. The mean NDVI and EVI increased from 0.54 and 0.31 (2001), respectively, to 0.65 and 0.36 (2020). Further, the EVI tends to correlate better with the different hydroclimatic factors in comparison to the NDVI. The EVI is strongly correlated with ET with r2 = 0.73 whereas the NDVI showed satisfactory performance with r2 = 0.45. On the other hand, the relationship between the EVI and precipitation yielded r2 = 0.34, whereas there was no relationship was observed between the NDVI and precipitation. These findings show that there exists a strong correlation between the EVI and hydroclimatic factors, which shows that changes in vegetation phenology can be better captured using the EVI than the NDVI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest-Climate Ecosystem Interactions)
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1 pages, 186 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Kumari et al. A Long-Term Spatiotemporal Analysis of Vegetation Greenness over the Himalayan Region Using Google Earth Engine. Climate 2021, 9, 109
by Nikul Kumari, Ankur Srivastava and Umesh Chandra Dumka
Climate 2022, 10(8), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10080116 - 10 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1696
Abstract
There was an error in the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest-Climate Ecosystem Interactions)
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