A quantitative assessment of rockfall influence on forest structure in the Swiss Alps

Détails

ID Serval
serval:BIB_83293693BD4D
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Titre
A quantitative assessment of rockfall influence on forest structure in the Swiss Alps
Périodique
European Journal of Forest Research
Auteur⸱e⸱s
Moos C., Khelidj N., Guisan A., Lischke H., Randin C.F.
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
2020
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Langue
anglais
Résumé
Forests below rocky cliffs often play a very important role in protecting settlements against rockfall. The structure and development of these forests is expected to be substantially affected by the disturbance of the falling rocks. Knowing about this effect is important to predict the development of protection forests and consider potential effects of the falling blocks in management strategies. The goal of this study is to quantify differences in forest structure depending on rockfall activity in four different sites in the Swiss Alps. For this, we collected data on forest structure in zones of different rockfall activity and derived rockfall impact probabilities based on rockfall simulations. We assessed whether differences in forest structure and signs of rockfall disturbance could be observed between the rockfall zones. We additionally built mixed effects models to identify the key variables explaining the forest characteristics described by diameter (DBH) and basal area (bA). The forest structure differs between the rockfall zones, however, with varying effects amongst the sites. DBH tends to decrease with increasing rockfall activity, whereas tree density appears to be little impacted by rockfall. For most sites, the number of deposited blocks and the simulated tree impact probability have a significant effect in the models along with the species, whereas for one site, hardly any effect of rockfall was found. Our results, obtained either from direct measurements or modeling, show that rockfall can locally influence the structure of forests, whereas the influence depends on the frequency and intensity of the rockfall disturbance. Impact probabilities obtained by simulations can serve as a good proxy for rockfall disturbances.
Mots-clé
rockfall, forest structure, disturbance, protection forest, rockfall impact probability
Open Access
Oui
Création de la notice
20/08/2020 18:31
Dernière modification de la notice
26/01/2021 7:24
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