Forests with two or three tree species are on average 35% more resilient to storms than forests with only one species, simulations created by RESONATE researchers found. The tree species also matters – forestry plantations with tall-growing trees such as conifers are more vulnerable to high winds than slower-growing hardwood species such as oak. In their recent paper published in the journal “Functional Ecology”, RESONATE researchers Julien Barrere, Björn Reineking and Georges Kunstler from the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) explored that Forest storm resilience depends on the interplay between functional composition and climate—Insights from European‐scale simulations (wiley.com).
“Monocultures of fast-growing species such as pine, although valuable from an economic point of view, are more susceptible to storm damage,” said lead researcher Dr Julien Barrere in an article published in the Guardian to recommend the paper. “In a context of increasing storm losses across the continent, our study therefore argues for forest management practices that promote diversity and slow-growing tree species,” he said.
Barrere, Julien, Reineking, Björn, Jaunatre, Maxime, Kunstler, George: Forest storm resilience depends on the interplay between functional composition and climate—Insights from European-scale simulations, Functional Ecology (2024). DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.14489