Risk-mapping the potential impact of wind damage to European forests
Bragg, Alan M
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European forests are noteworthy both in their size and in their commercial potential. The move towards uniform plantations of equal-age and equally spaced trees has resulted in an increased level of damage occurring to forest stands during storm events. Therefore it is important to understand at-risk areas to help produce management strategies so that future storm events result in less damage. Here the ForestGALES model is used to produce critical wind speeds at which damage would occur to Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) which are simulated as growing in contrasting scenarios to test the sensitivity of the model used. , Data used in this project are derived European LiDAR and reanalysed climate data, and results are produced in the form of maps. Whilst mapped results appear to be in general agreement with areas where damage has historically occurred, the model currently doesn’t incorporate the influence of terrain and maximum critical wind speeds are typically exaggerated.