FOREST ECOSYSTEMS AND GLOBAL CHANGE: THE CASE STUDY OF INSUBRIA

M. Pautasso

Abstract


Forest ecosystems face multiple challenges due to climate change, invasive species, urbanization, land use change and the interactions between these global change drivers. This review provides an overview of such challenges for the case study of Insubria. Insubria is a region on the Southern side of the European Alps, famous for its stunning lakes (e.g., Como, Garda, Lugano, Maggiore), blessed by a relatively mild and humid climate, and shaped by the geologic fault line between the African and European plates. Global change impacts in Insubria pose a threat to its biodiversity and chestnut woodlands, particularly through modified winter forest fire regimes. Insubric biodiversity conservation, in turn, is essential to counteract the effects of climate change. Sustainable management of Insubric forests is made more difficult by rural abandonment, air pollution and invasive exotic species. There is a need to develop reliable long-term bio-indicators and to predict the shift of Insubric species, ecosystems and tree-lines due to rapid climate changes. Insubric studies on forests and global change call for enhanced international collaboration in forest management and research. Interdisciplinary approaches are needed to move from studies of single global change drivers to experiments, scenarios and models taking into account their combination and our responses to global change.

Keywords


Castanea sativa; ecosystem management; forest canopies; human population impacts; Italy; landscape ecology; ozone pollution; Switzerland

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4462/annbotrm-10092

Annali di Botanica is published by the Department of Environmental Biology - University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy. The journal is printed by Sapienza Università di Roma - Centro Stampa Università.

ISSN: 2239-3129