Mediterranean old-growth forests exhibit resistance to climate warming

By Michele Colangelo

European old-growth forests are estimated to occupy only 0.7% of the total forested area; they are of prime ecological value, representing small vestiges of how Europe’s past primeval forest may have looked. In addition, old-growth forests provide various and important ecosystem services, such as biodiversity maintenance, long-term carbon storage, and landscape uniqueness. Therefore, old-growth forests represent valuable natural laboratories for evaluating how trees of different dimensions and ages respond to global change drivers, including climate warming and land-use changes. Although there is increasing attention on these ecosystems, knowledge of the long-term impacts of climate change in the Mediterranean environment is still limited. A recent study published in Science of The Total Environment, led by the University of Basilicata (Italy) and Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC, Spain), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Tuscia (Italy) and Pollino National Park (Italy), found that in Mediterranean mountainous area old-growth forests show remarkable resistance to climate warming.

This article originally appeared in the Phys.org website at https://phys.org/news/2021-08-mediterranean-old-growth-forests-resistance-climate.html

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