Treeline dynamics in Siberia under changing climates as inferred from an individual-based model for Larix

Stefan.Kruse [ at ]


Siberian boreal forests are expected to expand northwards in the course of global warming. However, processes of the treeline ecotone transition, as well astiming and related climate feedbacks are still not understood. Here, we present ‘Larix Vegetation Simulator’ LAVESI, an individual-based spatially-explicit model that can simulate Larix gmelinii (Rupr.) Rupr. stand dynamics in an attempt to improve our understanding about past and future treeline movements under changing climates. The relevant processes (growth, seed production and dispersal, establishment and mortality) are incorporated and adjusted to observation data mainly gained from the literature. Results of a local sensitivity analysis support the robustness of the model’s parameterization by giving relatively small sensitivity values. We tested the model by simulating tree stands under modern climate across the whole Taymyr Peninsula, north-central Siberia (c. 64–80° N; 92–119° E). We find tree densities similar to observed forests in the northern to mid-treeline areas, but densities are overestimated in the southern parts of the simulated region. Finally, from a temperature-forcing experiment, we detect that the responses of tree stands lag the hypothetical warming by several decades, until the end of 21st century. With our simulation experiments we demonstrate that the newly-developed model captures the dynamics of the Siberian latitudinal treeline.

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DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2016.08.003

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Kruse, S. , Wieczorek, M. , Jeltsch, F. and Herzschuh, U. (2016): Treeline dynamics in Siberia under changing climates as inferred from an individual-based model for Larix , Ecological Modelling, 338 , pp. 101-121 . doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2016.08.003

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Geographical region

Research Platforms

Arctic Land Expeditions > RU-Land_2011_Khatanga
Arctic Land Expeditions > RU-Land_2013_Taymyr

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