The Impact of Climate Change on Forest Development: A Sustainable Approach to Management Models Applied to Mediterranean-Type Climate Regions

Plants (Basel). 2021 Dec 27;11(1):69. doi: 10.3390/plants11010069.


Forest ecosystems are divided into three major groups: boreal, temperate, and tropical. These can be subdivided according to the particularities of each type due to its relative location (littoral, mountain, etc.), climatic conditions, or even geological substrate. Climate change affects each type of forest ecosystem differently. However, it seems to affect temperate forests in Mediterranean-type climate regions more intensely. These regions are located over several continents, with major impacts of increased temperature during summer and decreased precipitation during winter. This situation affects Mediterranean forest ecosystems by increasing the risk of fires, which arise more frequently and are more severe. In addition, the emergence of pests and the spread of invasive species are well-known problems affecting these ecosystems. All of these conditions contribute to losses of productivity and biodiversity. To avoid the destruction of forest resources, and since Mediterranean-type climate regions are considered climate change hot spots with increased vulnerability to disturbances, the implementation of adaptive forest management models could contribute to increasing the resilience of such forests, which could also contribute to mitigating climate change.

Keywords: Mediterranean forests; climate change; forest ecosystems; sustainable forest management.

Publication types

  • Review