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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Using hybrid modelling to predict basal area and evaluate effects of climate change on growth of Norway spruce and Scots nine stands

Goude, Martin; Nilsson, Urban; Mason, Euan; Vico, Giulia


When modelling forest growth, capturing the effects of climate change is needed for reliable longterm predictions and management choices. This remains a challenge because commonly used mensurational forest growth and yield models, relying on inventory data, cannot account for climate change effects. We developed hybrid physiological/mensurational basal area growth and yield models, which combine physiological response to climatic conditions and empirical relations. We included climate and site effects by replacing time with light sums of photosynthetically active radiation and modifying the latter with monthly soil water, vapour pressure deficit, temperature, and frost days. When parameterised with permanent sample plot data for Scots pine and Norway spruce across Sweden, the hybrid models could reproduce observations well, although with no increase in precision compared with time-based mensurational models. When considering different climate scenarios, a significant impact on productivity from climate change emerged. For example, a 2 degrees C warming enhanced Scots pine production by up to 14% in regions where temperatures were originally cooler and soil water deficit was low (i.e. northwest Sweden), but depressed it, up to 9%, elsewhere. Hence, climate-sensitive models that take local variations into account are necessary for accurate predictions and sustainable forest management.


photosynthetically active radiation; forest modelling; boreal forests; growth and yield; long-term prediction

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2022, volume: 37, number: 1, pages: 59-73

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Mason, Euan
University of Canterbury
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science
Climate Research

Publication Identifiers


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