THE ROLE OF FOREST ECOSYSTEMS IN THE PROCESS OF MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION TO THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Ratko Ristić, Ivan Malušević, Boris Radić, Slobodan Milanović, Vukašin Milčanović, Siniša Polovina

Abstract


Forest ecosystems provide a wide range of environmental services with an important role in the Earth’s life-support system. Climate change in Southeastern Europe (SEE) and forecasts for the period until 2070 have a huge impact on the present and future planning in forestry and watershed management, due to the observed trends: the increment of mean annual air temperature from 2,5–5,0 °C until the end of the XXI century; redistribution of annual precipitation, with much more precipitation in the spring-summer period, during short, intensive rain events; a decrease of annual precipitation and soil moisture of 10–20 %, with extreme consequences: dieback and disappearance of forests in huge areas of hilly-mountainous regions. Degradation and loss of forests leads to spread and intensification of soil erosion, with frequent torrential floods, mudflows, landslides, and avalanches. Stable forest ecosystems are pillars of sustainable development, repopulation and could provide means and resources to battle and overcome poverty in moun-tainous regions of southeast Europe.

Keywords


forest ecosystems; climate change; flood prevention; erosion control; planning

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20903/csnmbs.masa.2019.40.1.128

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