What is it about?

Norway spruce forests are rapidly declining in central Europe, owing to the effects of climate change-induced droughts on its vitality. Silver fir and Douglas fir are now being considered as substitute species to fill in the economical and ecological gap left by the loss of spruce. Based on the analysis of tree ring growth in relation to extreme drought events, we assess the performance of these conifers in the Black Forest, showing the higher resilience of firs to droughts. Our findings support sustainable future forest management through a dependable evidence-based approach.

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Why is it important?

The forest area cultivated with Picea abies is rapidly declining and therefore it is extremely urgent for forestry to have an evidence-based selection of alternative conifer species. In contrast to previous studies, we analyzed mixed-species stands permitting a direct comparison of species and applied a regional sampling approach

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This page is a summary of: Silver fir and Douglas fir are more tolerant to extreme droughts than Norway spruce in south-western Germany, Global Change Biology, June 2017, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13774.
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