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Gewählte Publikation:

Scheidl, C; Heiser, M; Kamper, S; Thaler, T; Klebinder, K; Nagl, F; Lechner, V; Markart, G; Rammer, W; Seidl, R.
(2020): The influence of climate change and canopy disturbances on landslide susceptibility in headwater catchments
SCI TOTAL ENVIRON. 2020; 742, 140588 FullText FullText_BOKU

Forests have an important regulating function on water runoff and the occurrence of shallow landslides. Their structure and composition directly influence the risk of hydrogeomorphic processes, like floods with high sediment transport or debris flows. Climate change is substantially altering forest ecosystems, and for Central Europe an increase in natural disturbances from wind and insect outbreaks is expected for the future. How such changes impact the regulating function of forest ecosystems remains undear. By combining methods from forestry, hydrology and geotechnical engineering we investigated possible effects of changing climate and disturbance regimes on shallow landslides. We simulated forest landscapes in two headwater catchments in the Eastern Alps of Austria under four different future climate scenarios over 200 years. Our results indicate that dimate-mediated changes in forest dynamics can substantially alter the protective function of forest ecosystems. Climate change generally increased landslide risk in our simulations. Only when future warming coincided with drying landslide risk decreased relative to historic conditions. In depth analyses showed that an important driver of future landslide risk was the simulated vegetation composition. Trajectories away from flat rooting Norway spruce (Picea abies (L) Karst.) forests currently dominating the system towards an increasing proportion of tree species with heart and taproot systems, increased root cohesion and reduced the soil volume mobilized in landslides. Natural disturbances generally reduced landslide risk in our simulations, with the positive effect of accelerated tree species change and increasing root cohesion outweighing a potential negative effect of disturbances on the water cycle. We conclude that while the efficacy of green infrastructure such as protective forests could be substantially reduced by climate change, such systems also have a strong inherent ability to adapt to changing conditions. Forest management should foster this adaptive capacity to strengthen the protective function of forests also under changing environmental conditions. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Autor/innen der BOKU Wien:
Heiser Micha
Kamper Sebastian
Rammer Werner
Scheidl Christian
Seidl Rupert
Thaler Thomas
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Climate change
Canopy disturbance
Slope stability
Stubai valley

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