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ABSTRACT: By using an empirical GIS model, the potential spatial changes
of forest vegetation driven by expected climate change have been analysed.
Based on the three different scenarios predicting climate warming in
Slovenia (the mean, pessimistic and optimistic scenarios), the simulation showed
that the share of vegetation types will be altered under the impacts of climate
change, and the shift of vegetation belts upwards might be expected.

By the year 2100, the share of mesic beech forests is likely to decrease.
From ecological, – nature-conservation – and forest-management points of
view, the predicted decrease of the share of Dinaric fir-beech forests is especially
important. The model predicts an increase of the share of thermophilous
forests from the present 14% to a range between 50% (according to the optimistic
scenario) and 87% (according to the pessimistic scenario). A significant
part of the coniferous forest with Picea abiesand Abies alba predominating
might be converted to deciduous forests.

Key words:climate change, forest vegetation, model, simulation, climate

The results of climate research suggest that the risks stern Europe may experience an increase in dry periods
caused by weather extremes may increase considerably by the late 21stcentury (Polemio and Casarano,
in future (IPCC 2001, 2007).Warmer, drier conditions 2004), and the longest yearly dry period could increase
will lead to more frequent and prolonged droughts, as by as much as 50%, especially over France and central
well as to a longer fire season and increased fire risk, Europe (Good etal. 2006).
particularly in the Mediterranean region (IPCC 2007).

Forest ecosystems in Europe are very likely to be

Benistonetal. (2007) estimated that countries in strongly influenced by climate change and other global
central Europe would experience the same number of changes (Shaver etal. 2000,BlennowandSallhot
days as currently occur in southern Europe, and that näs2002, Askeevet al. 2005, Kellomäkiand
in the Mediterranean droughts would start earlier in the Leinonen 2005, Maracchi et al. 2005, IPCC
year and last longer.The regions most affected could be 2007). Forest area is expected to expand in the north
the southern Iberian Peninsula, the Alps, the eastern (White et al. 2000, Kljuev2001, MNRRF 2003,
Adriatic coast, and southern Greece.The regions most Shiyatovet al. 2005), but contract in the south
prone to an increase in drought risk are the Mediterra-(Metzger et al. 2004, IPCC 2007). Native conifers
nean and some parts of central and eastern Europe are likely to be replaced by deciduous trees in western
(IPCC 2007).The Mediterranean and even much of ea-and central Europe (Maracchi etal. 2005,Kocaet

al. 2006). The distribution of a number of main tree


Dr. Lado Kutnar, Slovenian Forestry Institute, Department of

species might decrease in the Mediterranean (Schrö-

Forest Ecology, Večna pot 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia;

teret al. 2005).


Mag.Andrej Kobler, Slovenian Forestry Institute, Department of

At higher elevations in theAlps, net primary pro-

Forest and Landscape Planning and Monitoring,Večna pot 2,

ductivity (NPP) is likely to increase throughout the

SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia;

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L. Kutnar, A. Kobler: PREDICTION OF FORESTVEGETATION SHIFT DUE TO DIFFERENT ... Šumarski list br. 3–4, CXXXV (2011), 113-126

century. However, by the end of the century (2071 to
2100) in continental central and southern Europe,NPP
of conifers is likely to decrease due to water limitations
(Lasch etal. 2002,Lexer etal. 2002,Martínez-
Vilalta and Pińol 2002, Freeman et al. 2005,
Körner et al. 2005) and higher temperatures
(Pretzch and Dursky 2002). Negative impacts of
drought on deciduous forests are also possible (Broadmeadowetal.

Abiotic hazards for forests are likely to increase, although
expected impacts are regionally specific and will
be substantially dependent on the forest management system
used (Kellomäki andLeinonen 2005). Fire
danger, length of the fire season, and fire frequency and
severity are expected to increase in the Mediterranean
(Santos et al. 2002, Pausas 2004, Pereira et al.
2005,Moriondo etal. 2006), and lead to the increased
dominance of shrubs over trees (Mouillot et al.
2002).Although to a lesser degree, the danger of fire is
also likely to increase in central, eastern and northern
Europe (Goldammer etal. 2005,Kellomäki et al.
2005,Moriondoetal. 2006).

Slovenia, situated on the transition between the Mediterranean
and central Europe, between the mountain
region of theAlps and the Dinaric range, is the under
influence of the Mediterranean and of the continental
climate of the mountainous ranges and of the Pannonia
basin (Wraber 1969). The evidence on climate
change can also be found in datasets of air temperature
and precipitation amounts (Bergant2007).

The aim of this study is to simulate the future forest
vegetation in Slovenia driven by expected climate
change. Taking into consideration different climate-
change scenarios for this region, changes of forest vegetation
will be predicted.

MATERIALAND METHODS – Materijali i metode

Forest vegetation in Slovenia –

Diverse vegetation patterns have been recognised in
Slovenian forests: in periodically flooded lowlands, in
narrow strips along the rivers and brooks, forests of
willows (Salix sp.), alders (Alnus glutinosa (L.)
Gaertn., Alnus incana (L.) Moench), ashes (Fraxinus
excelsiorL.,Fraxinus oxycarpaWilld.), and common
oak (Quercus robur L.) grow. In the hilly areas above
the floodplains, where for the most part the forests have
now been converted to farmland, is the region of mixed
forests of sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.)
and hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.). In the mountainous
areas, these change gradually into forests with predominantly
beech (Fagus sylvaticaL.) trees.The beech
forests with mixtures of different broadleaves and conifers
cover the major part of the forested area of the country,
and the Dinaric forest of common beech and silver
fir (Abies albaMiller) is one of the most extensive forest
communities in the country. In the Alpine region, together
with Norway spruce (Picea abies(L.) Karst.), and
European larch (Larix deciduaMill.), more or less pure
beech forests reach up to the belt of the dwarf mountain
pine (Pinus mugoTurra) in the Dinaric range.

On extremely warm, steeper sites all over the country,
mainly on limestone and dolomite terrain, forests
and woodland of different thermophile tree species (e.g.
Ostrya carpinifolia Scop., Fraxinus ornus L. Quercus
pu bescensWilld.) extend.

In its natural range, spruce grows more abundantly
only in theAlpine area, on the high plateaus of the Julian
Alps, and in the Kamnik-SavinjaAlps and Karavanke
Mountains. To a small extent, natural spruce forests
grow in cold valleys and sinkholes in the Dinaric region.

Šumska vegetacija u Sloveniji

However, they also grow on Pohorje Mountain, where
they are, for the most part, not native, and throughout
the country in which they have been disseminated,
mainly by man, for their useful wood. In these areas, the
spruce is much more sensitive to the rigours of the weather
and to the more widespread bark beetles.

Beside woodlands of dwarf mountain pine in the
high-alpine zone, the pine forests are composed of
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and ofAustrian pine
(Pinus nigra Arnold). The Scots pine can be found
throughout the interior of the country on the poorest
soils, andAustrian pine forests grow on some of the
steeper slopes of the continental part and extend over
the larger part of south-western Slovenia, in the Karst
region. Centuries ago, the deciduous forests of this region
were degraded by logging, burning and pasturing.
Intensive reforestation and afforestation of the Karst
region withAustrian pine started in the middle of the


19 century.
This study is focused on the potential forest vegetation,
based on the forest-plant community system by
Košir etal. (1974, 2003), described on 74,123 forest
compartments – the lowest level of the hierarchical forest-
management system – which are sized from 10 to
30 hectares. Based on the similarity of site characteristics
with a special emphasis on climatic factors and according
to criteria of hierarchical classifications of
habitat types (Devillers andDevillers-Teschuren
1996, Jogan et al. 2004), the potential-forest

community types have been agregated together in 13

group or so-called vegetation types (Table 1, Figure 1).

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Table 1.
Forest vegetation types (groups of similar forest communities) and forecast forest areas for the year 2100
based on different scenarios

Tablica 1.Tipovi šumske vegetacije (grupe sličnih šumskih zajednica) i prognozirane površine šuma u 2100 godini
na temelju različitih scenarija

Actual forests
in year2000
Forecasted forest areas (in %)
in year2100
Description of vegetation type
1 AcidophilicFagus sylvaticaforests 168.591 14.2 0.7 5.0 0.0
2 AcidophilicPinus sylvestrisforests 56.045 4.7 0.0 2.5 0.0
3 SubmontaneFagus sylvaticaforests 154.624 13.0 0.1 4.0 0.0
4 MontaneFagus sylvaticaforests 113.116 9.5 4.3 6.4 1.4
(Alti-)montaneFagus sylvaticaforest in
(Pre-)Alpine region
103.438 8.7 0.2 3.2
(Alti-)montaneFagus sylvaticaforest in
(Pre-)Dinaric region
133.599 11.2 0.4 7.4
7 ThermophileFagus sylvaticaforests 78.109 6.6 4.8 11.7 1.3
Collinar forests ofQuercus petraeaand
Carpinus betulus 101.964 8.6 18.6 17.8 11.8
Lowland forests ofSalixspecies,
AlnusglutinosaandQuercus robur 34.521 2.9 0.0 0.1 0.0
Thermophile forests ofOstrya carpinifolia,
Quercus species,Pinus sylvestrisandP.nigra 91.244 7.7 70.8 38.7 85.5
11 Abies albaforests 77.707 6.5 0.0 1.4 0.0
12 Picea abiesforests 43.453 3.7 0.0 1.7 0.0
13 Pinus mugowoodlands 34.117 2.9 0.0 0.1 0.0
SUM 1.190.528 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Figure 1 Model of the present forest vegetation state in Slovenia.

Slika 1. Model stanja sadašnje šumske vegetacije u Sloveniji.

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Graph 1 Forecast share of (Alti-)montane Fagus sylvatica forest in (Pre-)Dinaric region based on different
scenarios for three periods
Grafikon 1.Prognozirani udio (Alti-)montanskih šuma bukve u (Pre-)dinarskoj regiji na temelju različitih scenarija
za tri razdoblja
Figure 2 Forecast of forest-vegetation distribution in the year 2100 according to the mean climate scenario.The white color denotes
currently non-forested areas, since the model only predicts vegetation changes within the forest areas.
Slika 2. Prognoza raširenosti šumske vegetacije u 2100 godini prema srednjem klimatskom scenariju. Bijela boja označava području
bez šuma. Model prognozira promjene vegetacije samo unutar šumskog područja.

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Climate change scenarios –Scenariji klimatskih promjena

For simulation of future vegetation states, the existing
climate-change predictions for Slovenia have
been used (Bergant 2007,Kutnar etal. 2009).To
estimate the future temperature and precipitation conditions
in different regions of Slovenia by the end of
the 21st
century, empirical downscaling was used to
project the results of General Circulation Model
(GCMs) simulations with four different models
in MPI-DMI/ECHAM4-OPYC3) to five selected locations
in Slovenia (Ljubljana, Novo Mesto, Murska Sobota,
Rateče-Planica in Bilje) (Bergant 2007). A
combination of empirical orthogonal function analysis
together with a partial least squares regression was
used to develop empirical models based on local observations
and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis in the large scale.

Spatial model –

Within the present forest area, a model was constructed,
linking the vegetation type to the climate factors,
the relief and the soil at the spatial level of
100×100 m quadrants, in order to provide the model-
based predictions of potential vegetation distribution in
case of climate warming.The relationship was gleaned
with the data mining tool SEE5 (
from the empirical data (training dataset).The training
data consisted of equal numbers of randomly sampled
records for each vegetation type. Each record consisted
of the current vegetation type at a particular 100×100 m
quadrant, followed by the corresponding climate data
(average monthly and yearly temperature, precipitation
and evapotranspiration values for the 1970–2000 period),
relief data (elevation, terrain slope, terrain exposition),
and soil data (FAO soil type). The model
constructed with SEE5 took the form of a decision tree.
The accuracy of the model was estimated to be 71% (at
the level of 13 vegetation types) with 10-fold cross-validation
on training data. The cross-validation returns
As GCM simulations are commonly based on a limited
number of emission scenarios, in this case SRESA2
and B2, local projections were additionally scaled to
other marker SRES scenarios (A1Fl,A1T,A1B).The
results of projections indicate the strongest warming in
summer(3.5 °C to 8°C) followed by winter (3.5°C to
7°C), spring (2.5°C to 6°C), and autumn (2.5°C to
4°C) (Bergant 2007). No significant change in precipitation
amounts is expected in spring and autumn,
while in summer a decrease in precipitation (-20%) and
in winter an increase (+30%) is expected.

For the simulation of changes of potential forest vegetation,
the existing climate-change predictions for
Slovenia (Bergant 2007) have been used to create
three different scenarios.

Prostorni model

similar accuracy values as the validation using an independent
control sample. Using the model and the existing
predictions of the likely future climate (Bergant
2007), we predicted the shift of the forest vegetation in
Slovenia for the years 2040, 2070 and 2100 under three
climatic scenarios: the mean scenario (median predicted
temperature T, median predicted precipitation R,
median predicted evapotranspiration E), the pessimistic
scenario (maxT,min R, max E), and the optimistic scenario
(minT, max R, min E). For comparisons of the
predicted values to the present values, we used the potential
present values, i.e. modelled present values, and
not the real present values. Therefore, the differences
between the present and the predicted values were less
influenced by the errors of the model. Since the empirical
model is only valid within the present forest area, it
cannot predict change of the forest area due to climate
warming. Therefore, our predictions of vegetation
change were only made within the present confines of
the forests.

RESULTS – Rezultati

Taking into consideration the future climate changes
(defined by three different climate scenarios: the
mean scenario, the pessimistic scenario and the optimistic
scenario), the simulation of the future potential forest
vegetation showed significant changes of
vegetation-type shares in Slovenia. By using all three
climate scenarios in an empirical GIS model, the simulations
showed the alteration of spatial pattern of 13 vegetation
types (groups of similar forest communities)
under impacts of climate vary considerably (Figure 2).

The mesic forest vegetation may be adversely af

fected by such changing environmental conditions.

The decrease of the share of currently prevailing beech
vegetation types, e.g. groups of Acidophilic Fagus

sylvatica forests (14.2%), of Submontane Fagus
sylvaticaforests (13.0%), and (Alti-) montaneFagus
sylvatica forest in (Pre-)Dinaric region (11.2%),
could be expected (Table 1). By the year 2100, the
share ofAcidophilicFagus sylvaticaforests might be
decreased to range between 0.0% (pessimistic scenario)
and 5.0% (optimistic scenario); and the share of
Submontane Fagus sylvatica forests might be contracted
to range between 0.0% and 4.0% (Table 1).
The constant decreasing of (Alti-)montane Fagus
sylvatica forest in the (Pre-)Dinaric region, among
which Dinaric fir-beech forests (Abieti-Fagetum
dinaricum, sin. Omphalodo-Fa ge tum) prevail, has
been forecast (Graph 1).

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On the contrary, the warmer climate predicted by all
three future scenarios will favour drought-tolerant fo-
rest species and vegetation types. It could be expected
that different thermophile forests, which are partly do-
minated by beech trees, but mostly by different
drought-tolerant tree species, like Ostrya carpinifolia
Scop.,Fraxinus ornusL.,Sorbus aria(L.) Cr.,Quercus
pubescens Willd., Q. cerris L., Q. ilex L. and Q. pe-
traea(Matt.) Liebl., and alsoPinus sylvestrisL. andP.
nigra Arnold, will expand over a larger area of the
country. Even different Mediterranean evergreen fo-
rests and maquis shrublands of the order Quercetalia
ilicis, with dominantQuercus ilexL.,Q. cocciferaL.,
Pinus halepensisMill. orCarpinus orientalisMill., si-
milar to current vegetation of the Croatian coastal area
(Trinajstić 2008) could possibly bedistributed over
extreme warm sites in Slovenia. By the end of century,
the share of such thermophile vegetation might be en-
larged from 14.2% to range between 50.4% (optimistic
scenario) to 86.8% (pessimistic scenario) (Graph 2).
Graph2 Forecast share of different thermophile forests (vegetation types of Group 7 and Group 10 are aggregated)
based on different scenarios for three periods
Grafikon 2. Prognozirani udio različitih termofilnih šuma (vegetacija skupina 7 i 10 zajedno) na temelju različitih
scenarija za tri razdoblja
Beside this, the Collinar forests of Quercus pe-
traea and Carpinus betulus, admixed with various
tree species, likePrunus aviumL.,Acer campestreL.,
A. pseudoplatanus L., Tilia cordata Mill., Fraxinus
excelsiorL.,Abies albaMiller,Picea abies(L.) Kar-
sten, growing from plains to hilly areas, from the Sub-
Mediterranean to Pre-Pannonian regions, covering
8.6% of total forest cover, will be spread over larger
area. By the year 2100, the forecast share of these fo-
rests might be between 11.8% (pessimistic scenario)
and 17.8% (optimistic scenario). However, even more
xerothermic vegetation with dominant oak species
(e.g.Quercus cerrisL.,Quercus frainetto Ten.) might
also be expected after such significant warming.
The more commercially interesting coniferous spe-
cies, likePicea abiesandAbies albaare present in di-
verse forest types, and they have significant shares of
the total growing stock (Picea abies: 32%,Abies alba:
8%; Lesnik and Matijašić 2006). However, ta-
king into account potential sites of coniferous domi-
nant vegetation types (including vegetation types 2, 11,
12, 13) the share of these forests is less than 18% of the
total (Table 1). Based on different climate scenarios fo-
recasting the lower ratio between share of coniferous
and broadleaves dominant vegetation types (Graph 3),
the negative impacts of climate warming and water li-
mitations on the coniferous forests of more humid and
colder site conditions were estimated.

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The simulation showed that under warmer condi-
tions the shift of vegetation belts upwards could be ex-
pected (Graph 4). It means that Fagus-dominated
communities in the colline-submontane belt might
eventually be replaced by oak-hornbeam communities,
and the shift of tree-line to higher elevation is predic-
ted. Ashift upward of mean average of Pinus mugo
woodlands by almost 400 metres by the year 2070 has
been simulated with the GIS model.
Graph 3 Forecast ratio between share of coniferous dominant vegetation types (2, 11, 12, 13) and broadleaf
dominant vegetation types (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) based on different scenarios for three periods
Grafikon 3.Prognozirani omjer između staništa vegetacijskih skupina sa dominantnom crnogoricom (2, 11, 12, 13)
i vegetacijskih skupina sa dominantnom bjelogoricom (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), na temelju različitih
scenarija za tri razdoblja
Graph 4 Predicted mean elevation height of vegetation, based on mean scenario (numbers correspond toTable 1)
Grafikon 4. Predviđena srednja nadmorska visina vegetacije na temelju srednjeg scenarija (brojevi odgovaraju
tablici 1)

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Simulations of the future climate with general circu

lation models (GCMs) indicate an even more intensive
climate change than that detected in the last decades of


the 20 century (Bergant2007). Most of the current
climate projections for central Europe predict increased
temperatures that are expected to cause an increase in
the frequency and duration of intense summer droughts

(e.g. IPCC 2001, 2007). Based on the three different climate
scenarios, the simulations showed that the spatial
pattern of forest vegetation types in Slovenia will be altered,
and the vegetation type of major part of forest
sites might be changed in the following decades under
the impacts of climate change. Under warmer and wetter
conditions, the vegetation shift might not be as drastic
as under warmer and drier conditions.

Nowadays, the most abundant and dominant tree
species of the potential natural vegetation of central Europe
is European beech (Fagussylvatica) (Ellenberg
1996); it is one of the ecologically and economically
most important forest tree species presently supported
by forest management in this area (Geßleretal. 2006).
Beech forests of different types are prevailing in Slovenia
too, occurring on calcareous as well as on silicate
and mixed bedrock, on very different soil types, from
hills (150 metres a.s.l.) to the subalpine belt (1650 metres
a.s.l.) (Lesnik andMatijašić 2006,Dakskobler
2008). In Slovenia, approximately 63% of all
forests currently grow on the beech, fir-beech and
beech-oak potential sites; a reduction of beech sites is
predicted to range between 7% (pessimistic scenario)
and 42% (optimistic scenario) by the year 2070 (Kutnaret
al. 2009).The beech forests are likely to be threatened,
owing to beech sensitivity towards low water
availability (Ellenberg 1996) and longer drought periods
(Fotelli et al. 2002); the physiological performance,
growth and competitive ability of European
beech may be adversely affected by such changing climate
conditions (Peuke et al. 2002, Geßler et al.
2006). In Slovenia, the situation may be aggravated by
the fact that the area of distribution of beech forests includes
many sites with shallow limestone- and dolomite-
derived soils of low water storage capacity.

By the end of century, the distribution range of fir is
likely to change (Anićet al. 2009), and a decrease of the
area of Dinaric fir-beech forests (Omphalodo-Fagetum)
has been forecast in preliminary studies(Kutnar and
Kobler 2007,Kutnar etal. 2009).According to the
most pessimistic hot-and-dry scenario and assuming
that the actual ecological niche of this vegetation type
would not be changed in the future, this forest type
might disappear completely from territory of Slovenia

by the end of the 21stcentury. It seems that Dinaric fir-

beech forests might be the most threatened forest com

munity in Slovenia.

Dinaric fir-beech forest is one of the most extensive
forest communities in Slovenia (Dakskobler 2008),
covering the Dinaric Mountain area, extended along
theAdriatic coast over the Balkan Peninsula. In Slovenia,
the Dinaric mountain chain reaches the south-easternAlps;
in term of diversity, the vegetation on the
border zones of different ecological influences is especially
interesting. Beside their significant forest-management
role, the Dinaric fir-beech forests are among
the most important timber productive forests; their ecological
and nature-conservation aspects are also significant.
In area of these forests, the central part of habitat
of three large European beasts of prey, the brown bear
(Ursus arctosL.), lynx (Lynx lynxL.), and wolf (Canis
lupus L.), and of many other species (Kutnar et al.
2002,Ódorand VanDoort2002) that are of special
interest (e.g. Habitat Directive 1992), and the major
part of these forests has been designated as part of the
Natura 2000 network (Skoberne 2004). Thus, the
loss of habitat of Dinaric fir-beech forests is likely to
mean the potential extinction of many key species. Climate
change has already caused numerous shifts in
species abundance and distribution within the last 50
years (Parmesan and Yohe 2003) and it is presumed
to be a major cause of species extinction in near
future (Thomas etal. 2004).

The share of different thermophile forests, which
are less economically interesting and more fire-prone,
will increase significantly, replacing the currently predominant
mesic forests.The extension of thermophile
forests all over the country would have very dramatic
consequences and would affect forest-management, forest
policy, and forest protection activities. The shift
from dominant semi-natural mesic forests, mainly belonging
to order ofFagetalia sylvaticae, to low density
forests or woodlands, potentially belonging to orders of
Quercetalia pubescentis,Erico-Pinetalia or even to
Mediterranean evergreen forests and maquis shrublands
of orderQuercetalia ilicis, is likely to happen by
the end of the 21stcentury.The production of high-quality
wood is one of the main objectives of forest management
at present, but forests provide a wide range of
other benefits. The future forest roles might be critically
affected by redistribution and changed proportions
among the forest types.

Different types of thermophile forests of the sub-
Mediterranean region of Slovenia have recently been
damaged by forest fires (Mavsar etal. 2005,Jakša
2006). Driven by the warmer conditions and drought,
similar as in the Mediterranean (Santos etal. 2002,
Pausas 2004,Pereira etal. 2005,Moriondo et
al. 2006), forest fire frequency and severity are very likely
to increase in the future.

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In Slovenia, the coniferous forests might be affected
by warmer climate (Ogris andJurc2010).As in western
and central Europe (Kienast etal. 1998, Maracchi
etal. 2005,Koca etal. 2006), a significant
share of potential coniferous vegetation might be replaced
by forests mainly dominated by deciduous trees.
Native coniferous forests characterised by humid site
conditions and relatively lower average temperatures
might even disappear according to the most pessimistic
scenario, which predicts a rapid increase of temperature
and a decrease of precipitation.

Ashift upward of the treeline by several hundred metres
caused by climate change could be expected (Ba-
deck et al. 2001, Grace et al. 2002); there is some
evidence that this process has already begun in some regions
(Mindas etal. 2000,Kullman 2002,Peńuelas
and Boada 2003, Camarero and Gutiérrez
2004, Shiyatov et al. 2005). In harsh conditions in
Slovenia, where continuous forests are no longer able to
exist, thePinus mugowoodlands are spread in the subalpine
zone, while the scrubland scattered trees of
Larix decidua,Picea abies,Sorbus aucupariaL. subsp.
glabrata(Wimm. & Grab.) Hayek., Fagus sylvaticaL.
and some other more rare species form the upper treeline
in this region. The shift upward of Pinus mugo
woodlands was simulated with the GIS model, and the
change of treeline together with the effect of abandonment
of traditional alpine pastures is predicted as in
other European mountain areas (Guisan andTheurillat
2001, Grace et al. 2002, Dirnböck et al.
2003, Dullinger et al. 2004). For this reason, the
composition and structure of alpine and nival communities
are very likely to change, and threatening of nival
flora is predicted (Guisan and Theurillat 2000,
Gottfriedetal. 2002, Walther 2004).

Although, many research findings support the clear
impact of climate change to forests vegetation (e.g.
IPCC 2007), there is no doubt that the results of present
climate projections reflect some degrees of uncertainty
(see, e.g.Rial etal. 2004, Von Storch etal. 2004)
that are due to the incomplete understanding of the climate
as a system and its complex interactions with the
biosphere and oceans. Beside the relatively uncertain
climate-change model, a potentially changed ecological
niche of existing forest vegetation types under
changed climate or even the ecological niche of future
forest vegetation types with other dominant tree species
have not been considered. Moreover, the secondary
effects of climate change (e.g. higher frequency of
forest fires, land use change, and especially effects of
tree diseases and harmful pests and their new appearances
(Jurc andOgris 2006,Jurc etal. 2006,Ogris
et al. 2006, 2008,Piškur etal. 2011)) have not been
foreseen in the model.

On particular sites in the centre of the current area
of distribution of beech in central Europe, beech may
lose its dominance and growing potential as compared
to drought or flood-tolerant species (Geßler et al.
2006). Since similar impacts are also likely to occur in
the studied area, forest policy and management need to
take such risk into consideration. Species-rich forests
with a high resilience potential will reduce the risk for
forestry related to the prognosticated climate development
in this region.


The study has been financially supported by national
project “Adaptation of forest management to climate
changes in relation to expected changes of forest
traits and forest spatial changes,V4-0494”, funded by
the Ministry ofAgriculture, Forestry and Food and by
the Slovenian ResearchAgency, and by the research
programme P4-0107 funded by the Slovenian Research

Anić,I., J. Vukelić, S. Mikac,D. Bakšić, D.
Ugarković, 2009: Utjecaj globalnih klimatskih
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(Abies alba Mill.) u Hrvatskoj. Šumarski list,
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49: 262–266.

Agency.Thanks to Dragan Matijašić for Croatian language
corrections and for manuscript improvement.
Thank you to all reviewers whose criticism has considerably
improved an earlier version of the manuscript.
The English language of the manuscript was checked
by Terry Troy Jackson.

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SAŽETAK: Rezultati istraživanja promjene klime pokazuju da bi rizici
uzrokovani ekstremnim vremenskim pojavama mogli značajno porasti u budućnosti
(IPCC 2001, 2007). Topliji i sušniji uvjeti pridonijet će češćim i
dužim sušama, posebice u području Sredozemlja (IPCC 2007). Vrlo je vjerojatno
da će na šumske ekosustave značajno utjecati klimatske promjene i druge
globalne promjene (Shaver et al. 2000, Blennow and Sallnäs 2002, Askeev et
al. 2005, Kellomäki and Leinonen 2005, Maracchi et al. 2005, IPCC 2007).

U ovom su istraživanju analizirane moguće promjene šumske vegetacije u
Sloveniji zbog globalnih klimatskih promjena.

Potencijalne promjene vegetacije u prostoru simulirali smo pomoću empirijskog
GIS modela, koji prognozira prostornu raspodjelu šumske vegetacije u
odnosu na klimatske i druge ekološke čimbenike. Ovaj prostorni model – osim
gore spomenutih – ne uzima u obzir druge važne čimbenike, koji značajno doprinose
distribuciji šumske vegetacije, kao što su: sukcesije i proširivanje
šuma, antropogeni čimbenici te utjecaj sekundarnih čimbenika (bolesti šumskog
drveća, zoo-komponenta šuma, požari). Prognozirajući budući sastav
šumske vegetacije, koristili smo postojeća očekivanja klimatskih promjena za
Sloveniju te predvidjeli tri različita scenarija: srednji scenarij, pesimistički
scenarij i optimistički scenarij (Bergant 2007, Kutnar et al. 2009).

Na temelju tri različita klimatska scenarija (svi tri predviđaju zagrijavanje
klime), simulacije pokazuju da će se prostorni raspored i udio trinaest vrsta
šumske vegetacije (skupina sličnih šumskih zajednica) mijenjati pod utjecajima
promjene klime (tablica 1). Zbog toga možemo očekivati pomicanje vegetacijskih
pojaseva prema gore (grafikon 4).

Postoji velika vjerojatnost da će se u Sloveniji do kraja 21. stoljeća bitno
sniziti udio šuma bukve (Fagus sylvatica) –ponajprije na uštrb širenja različitih
termofilnih šuma (vrsta) (tablica 1, slika 1 i 2); od današnjih 14.2 % površina
acidofilnih šuma bukve (Fagus sylvatica) do površine između 0.0 %
(pesimistički scenariji) i 5.0 % (optimistički scenariji); pretplaninske (Submontanske)
šume bukve (Fagus sylvatica) (13,0 %) od 0.0 % do 4.0 %. Predviđa
se postepeno smanjenje (Alti-)montanskih šuma bukve u (Pre-)dinarskoj
regiji (11,2 %) među kojima dominiraju dinarske šume bukve i obične jele
(Abieti-Fagetum dinaricum, sin.Omphalodo-Fagetum) (grafikon 1).

Prema pesimističkom scenariju i uz pretpostavku da se ekološka niša dinarskih
šuma bukve i obične jele neće promijeniti u bliskoj budućnosti, ovaj tip
šuma mogao bi – na području Slovenije – u potpunosti nestati do kraja 21.
stoljeća. Dinarske šume bukve i obične jele spadaju među najvažnije šume za
proizvodnju drveta, a značajna je i njihova ekološka uloga te uloga na području
zaštite prirode. Na području ovih šuma nalazi se središnji dio staništa triju
velikih zvijeri europske važnosti – smeđi medvjed (Ursus arctosL.), ris (Lynx
lynxL.), i vuk (Canis lupusL.), te mnogo drugih organizama od posebne važnosti
po Direktivi o staništima (1992). Veći dio tih šuma uključen je u ekološku
mrežu Natura 2000 (Skoberne 2004). Zato je vjerojatno, da bi gubitak staništa

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L. Kutnar, A. Kobler: PREDICTION OF FORESTVEGETATION SHIFT DUE TO DIFFERENT ... Šumarski list br. 3–4, CXXXV (2011), 113-126

dinarskih šuma bukve i obične jele istovremeno označio i izumiranje određenih
ključnih vrsta.

Opisani model predviđa povećanje udjela termofilnih šuma, gdje djelomično
prevlađuje bukva, uz mnoštvo vrsta drveća, koja su izrazito otporna na
sušu, kaoOstrya carpinifolia,Fraxinus ornus,Sorbus aria,Quercus pubescens,

Q.cerris,Q. ilexiQ. petraea, tePinus sylvestrisiP.nigra, sa dosadaš njih 14 %
– od cjelokupne površine šuma u Sloveniji – na razinu od 50 % (prema optimističkom
scenariju) do čak 87 % (prema pesimističkom scenariju) (grafikon 2).

Do kraja dvadeset i prvog stoljeća, dominantne polu-prirodne šume mezičnih
staništa, koje uglavnom pripadaju redu Fagetalia sylvaticae, bit će vjerojatno
zamijenjene rijetkim šumama i šumarcima reda Quercetalia pubescentis,
Erico-Pinetalia ili čak sredozemnim zimzelenim šumama i makijama reda
Quercetalia ilicis.

Prema prognozi modela, značajan dio crnogorice, u kojima dominiraju
smreka (Picea abies) i jela (Abies alba), mogao bi se u postupnosti pretvoriti u
listopadne šume (bjelogoricu) (grafikon 3). Čak štoviše, prirodne šume crnogorice,
koje su obilježene vlažnim staništima te relativno nižim prosječnim
temperaturama, mogle bi u potpunosti nestati, uzevši u obzir najpesimističniji
scenarij, koji predviđa brzi porast temperature te pad količina padavina.

Ključne riječi:klimatska promjena, šumska vegetacija, model, simulacija,
klimatski scenariji