Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services

Josep Peñuelas, Jordi Sardans, Iolanda Filella, Marc Estiarte, Joan Llusià, Romà Ogaya, Jofre Carnicer, Mireia Bartrons, Albert Rivas-Ubach, Oriol Grau, Guille Peguero, Olga Margalef, Sergi Pla-Rabés, Constantí Stefanescu, Dolores Asensio, Catherine Preece, Lei Liu, Aleixandre Verger, Adrià Barbeta, Ander Achotegui-CastellsAlbert Gargallo-Garriga, Dominik Sperlich, Gerard Farré-Armengol, Marcos Fernández-Martínez, Daijun Liu, Chao Zhang, Ifigenia Urbina, Marta Camino-Serrano, Maria Vives-Ingla, Benjamin D. Stocker, Manuela Balzarolo, Rossella Guerrieri, Marc Peaucelle, Sara Marañón-Jiménez, Kevin Bórnez-Mejías, Zhaobin Mu, Adrià Descals, Alejandro Castellanos, Jaume Terradas

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific reviewpeer-review

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2017 by the authors. The increase in aridity, mainly by decreases in precipitation but also by higher temperatures, is likely the main threat to the diversity and survival of Mediterranean forests. Changes in land use, including the abandonment of extensive crop activities, mainly in mountains and remote areas, and the increases in human settlements and demand for more resources with the resulting fragmentation of the landscape, hinder the establishment of appropriate management tools to protect Mediterranean forests and their provision of services and biodiversity. Experiments and observations indicate that if changes in climate, land use and other components of global change, such as pollution and overexploitation of resources, continue, the resilience of many forests will likely be exceeded, altering their structure and function and changing, mostly decreasing, their capacity to continue to provide their current services. A consistent assessment of the impacts of the changes, however, remains elusive due to the difficulty of obtaining simultaneous and complete data for all scales of the impacts in the same forests, areas and regions. We review the impacts of climate change and other components of global change and their interactions on the terrestrial forests of Mediterranean regions, with special attention to their impacts on ecosystem services. Management tools for counteracting the negative effects of global change on Mediterranean ecosystem- services are finally discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalForests
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Nov 2017

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