Summary Report No. 22


Modelling the possible impact of climate change on broad-scale vegetation structure - examples from Northern Europe

W. Cramer (August 1996)

This chapter illustrates some recent approaches to broad-scale modelling of ecosystems in Northern regions. Changes in vegetation structure and composition are usually driven by climate in most ecosystems, although human land use may be another important factor. Changes in climate may involve marked regional differences in the change pattern of different climatic variables, such as temperature and moisture availability. Predictions of future vegetation composition are currently difficult, because of the regional uncertainty of the climate models and because of the lags involved in the vegetation response. Some trends may be extrapolated, however, using numerical simulation models of the most significant climate-related processes.