Drought Effects on Portuguese Forest Cover

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Whether current climate changes might be exclusively of anthropogenicorigin, is still an open discussion. Global changes in temperature, precipitation andatmospheric CO2 concentration may force species to adapt to new conditions, tomigrate, while others eventually may become extinct. Moreover, although theatmospheric CO2 enrichment could increase plant productivity, drought stress andthe nutrient availability may limit the biomass production. Extreme weather eventsoccurred in Europe ranging from extreme flooding in Austria, Germany andBulgaria to severe droughts in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. The EuropeanEnvironmental Agency (EEA) predicts that Southern European countries willexperience, increased drought stress as well as forest fires with risks for humanhealth, biodiversity and economy. The evolution of the drought in the last decadesin Portuguese mainland shows a trend that confirms the predictions of the EEA.Furthermore, the continuous monitoring of the drought status is a useful tool tohelp agricultural and forestry related activities. Thus, some obvious questions areraised: How the main forest species in the mainland (Pinus pinaster, Quercussuber and Eucalyptus globulus) behave at the physiological level? Is the ability ofstress to respond the pathogenic attacks reduced by extended warm and dryperiods? Will Quercus suber migrate to Northern areas while Southern areas willbecome more and more with desert-like conditions? Will Eucalyptus spread to theNorth replacing the large areas of Pinus pinaster? Which might be the impacts ofthese changes in the economy and in the GDP?
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationForest Context and Policies in Portugal:Present and Future Challenges
EditorsReboredo Fernando, Almeida José António, Constantino Luis, Lidon Fernando, Louro Graça, Monteiro Maria Loreto, Pais João, Pessoa Maria Fernanda, Phillips Alan, Rego Francisco, Santos Cristina
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
Pages67-96
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-08454-1/ 978-3-319-08455-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Publication series

NameWorld Forests
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
ISSN (Print)1566-0427

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