An analysis of the climate parametrization scheme adopted by conventional forest gap models revealed that most models assume a constant climate and are difficult to calibrate consistently. Tree growth showed unrealistically sensitive threshold effects along ecological gradients of temperature and precipitation. A new parametrization was compared with its predecessors in terms of the model's capability to predict realistic steady state species compositions at three test sites in the Alps. Applying the new model variant ForClim to some climate-change scenarios suggests that forest gap models are highly sensitive to climate pametrizations, regardless of the realism with which they simulate forests for the current climate. Moreover, the precision of climate scenarios based on General Circulation Models (GCM), for example, falls short of ForClim 's sensitivity. Climate-dependent processes in forest gap models should be rehearsed before these models are used in impact studies of climatic change.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 1995
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