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Structural variation of forest edges across Europe

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  • FORMICA (Microclimatic buffering of plant responses to macroclimate warming in temperate forests)
Abstract
Forest edges are interfaces between forest interiors and adjacent land cover types. They are important elements in the landscape with almost 20% of the global forest area located within 100 m of the edge. Edges are structurally different from forest interiors, which results in unique edge influences on microclimate, functioning and biodiversity. These edge influences have been studied for multiple decades, yet there is only limited information available on how forest edge structure varies at the continental scale, and which factors drive this potential structural diversity. Here we quantified the structural variation along 45 edge-to-interior transects situated along latitudinal, elevational and management gradients across Europe. We combined state-of-the-art terrestrial laser scanning and conventional forest inventory techniques to investigate how the forest edge structure (e.g. plant area index, stem density, canopy height and foliage height diversity) varies and which factors affect this forest edge structural variability. Macroclimate, management, distance to the forest edge and tree community composition all influenced the forest edge structural variability and interestingly we detected interactive effects of our predictors as well. We found more abrupt edge-to-interior gradients (i.e. steeper slopes) in the plant area index in regularly thinned forests. In addition, latitude, mean annual temperature and humidity all affected edge-to-interior gradients in stem density. We also detected a simultaneous impact of both humidity and management, and humidity and distance to the forest edge, on the canopy height and foliage height diversity. These results contribute to our understanding of how environmental conditions and management shape the forest edge structure. Our findings stress the need for site-specific recommendations on forest edge management instead of generalized recommendations as the macroclimate substantially influences the forest edge structure. Only then, the forest edge microclimate, functioning and biodiversity can be conserved at a local scale.
Keywords
Forestry, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Nature and Landscape Conservation, VEGETATION STRUCTURE, TEMPERATE FOREST, MICROCLIMATE, GRADIENTS, HETEROGENEITY, FRAGMENTATION, DIVERSITY, LIGHT, DYNAMICS, CLIMATE

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Meeussen, Camille, et al. “Structural Variation of Forest Edges across Europe.” FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, vol. 462, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117929.
APA
Meeussen, C., Govaert, S., Vanneste, T., Calders, K., Bollmann, K., Brunet, J., … De Frenne, P. (2020). Structural variation of forest edges across Europe. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, 462. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117929
Chicago author-date
Meeussen, Camille, Sanne Govaert, Thomas Vanneste, Kim Calders, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, Sara A. O. Cousins, et al. 2020. “Structural Variation of Forest Edges across Europe.” FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT 462. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117929.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Meeussen, Camille, Sanne Govaert, Thomas Vanneste, Kim Calders, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, Sara A. O. Cousins, Martin Diekmann, Bente J. Graae, Per-Ola Hedwall, Sruthi M. Krishna Moorthy, Giovanni Iacopetti, Jonathan Lenoir, Sigrid Lindmo, Anna Orczewska, Quentin Ponette, Jan Plue, Federico Selvi, Fabien Spicher, Matteo Tolosano, Hans Verbeeck, Kris Verheyen, Pieter Vangansbeke, and Pieter De Frenne. 2020. “Structural Variation of Forest Edges across Europe.” FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT 462. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117929.
Vancouver
1.
Meeussen C, Govaert S, Vanneste T, Calders K, Bollmann K, Brunet J, et al. Structural variation of forest edges across Europe. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT. 2020;462.
IEEE
[1]
C. Meeussen et al., “Structural variation of forest edges across Europe,” FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, vol. 462, 2020.
@article{8648857,
  abstract     = {Forest edges are interfaces between forest interiors and adjacent land cover types. They are important elements in the landscape with almost 20% of the global forest area located within 100 m of the edge. Edges are structurally different from forest interiors, which results in unique edge influences on microclimate, functioning and biodiversity. These edge influences have been studied for multiple decades, yet there is only limited information available on how forest edge structure varies at the continental scale, and which factors drive this potential structural diversity. Here we quantified the structural variation along 45 edge-to-interior transects situated along latitudinal, elevational and management gradients across Europe. We combined state-of-the-art terrestrial laser scanning and conventional forest inventory techniques to investigate how the forest edge structure (e.g. plant area index, stem density, canopy height and foliage height diversity) varies and which factors affect this forest edge structural variability. Macroclimate, management, distance to the forest edge and tree community composition all influenced the forest edge structural variability and interestingly we detected interactive effects of our predictors as well. We found more abrupt edge-to-interior gradients (i.e. steeper slopes) in the plant area index in regularly thinned forests. In addition, latitude, mean annual temperature and humidity all affected edge-to-interior gradients in stem density. We also detected a simultaneous impact of both humidity and management, and humidity and distance to the forest edge, on the canopy height and foliage height diversity. These results contribute to our understanding of how environmental conditions and management shape the forest edge structure. Our findings stress the need for site-specific recommendations on forest edge management instead of generalized recommendations as the macroclimate substantially influences the forest edge structure. Only then, the forest edge microclimate, functioning and biodiversity can be conserved at a local scale.},
  articleno    = {117929},
  author       = {Meeussen, Camille and Govaert, Sanne and Vanneste, Thomas and Calders, Kim and Bollmann, Kurt and Brunet, Jörg and Cousins, Sara A. O. and Diekmann, Martin and Graae, Bente J. and Hedwall, Per-Ola and Moorthy, Sruthi M. Krishna and Iacopetti, Giovanni and Lenoir, Jonathan and Lindmo, Sigrid and Orczewska, Anna and Ponette, Quentin and Plue, Jan and Selvi, Federico and Spicher, Fabien and Tolosano, Matteo and Verbeeck, Hans and Verheyen, Kris and Vangansbeke, Pieter and De Frenne, Pieter},
  issn         = {0378-1127},
  journal      = {FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT},
  keywords     = {Forestry,Management,Monitoring,Policy and Law,Nature and Landscape Conservation,VEGETATION STRUCTURE,TEMPERATE FOREST,MICROCLIMATE,GRADIENTS,HETEROGENEITY,FRAGMENTATION,DIVERSITY,LIGHT,DYNAMICS,CLIMATE},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {13},
  title        = {Structural variation of forest edges across Europe},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.117929},
  volume       = {462},
  year         = {2020},
}

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