Modelling the climatic turning point for European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and sessile oak (Quercus petraea) using national forest inventories
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Forests of temperate Europe are climate sensitive ecosystems, and the current balance between the tree species will shift as climate becomes warmer and potentially drier. Especially changes in the dominant species have a strong impact on forest ecosystems because it fundamentally changes life conditions of plants and animals living in the forest. Mette el al. (2013) termed the climatic conditions at which a change in dominance occurs the "climatic turning point" (CTP). Backed up by empirical evidence, they used the forest growth models LandClim and SILVA to predict the CTP between European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and sessile oak (Quercus petraea) at an annual temperature of 11‐12°C and a precipitation sum 500‐530 mm/yr. This CTP suggests that beech is actually more drought tolerant than assumed by e.g. Ellenberg (1996). In the present study we show how the CTP can be derived from standardized systematic forest inventories and compare the results for the CTP between beech and oak from a joint data set of the national forest inventories of Germany, France and Spain.