Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Temperate European Mountain Forests

  • Robert JandlEmail author
  • Mirco Rodeghiero
  • Andreas Schindlbacher
  • Frank Hagedorn
Part of the Managing Forest Ecosystems book series (MAFE, volume 34)


Forests are covering a substantial part of European mountains. The elongation of the growing season due to climate change and warmer summers are increasing the rate of soil respiration. However, the effect is at some sites partially compensated by droughts. Temperate mountain forests ecosystems are mostly releasing carbon dioxide whereas nitrogen oxides are of lesser importance. Societal changes are also affecting the greenhouse gas emissions from forests. The structural change in agriculture causes an increase of the forest area. The change in land use from grassland to forest, leads to the formation of an organic litter layer on the soil surface but to a reduction of the carbon input by decaying roots to the mineral layers. Moreover, the effect of the increased carbon sequestration in the biomass of more productive forests is partially offset by losses of carbon dioxide from the soil. Climate change also calls for an adaptation of the strategy of forest management. The economical feasibility of timber production in remote high-elevation forests will not be significantly increased. Nevertheless, even marginally productive mountain forests need to be managed in order to ensure the provision of ecosystem services such as protection against natural hazards. Mountain forests with a stable stand structure can better cope with disturbances such as storms and biotic pressures, thereby reducing the risk of carbon losses to the atmosphere.


Soil Organic Matter Carbon Stock Soil Organic Carbon Stock Mountain Forest Forest Expansion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Jandl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mirco Rodeghiero
    • 2
  • Andreas Schindlbacher
    • 1
  • Frank Hagedorn
    • 3
  1. 1.Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW)ViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems and BioresourcesResearch and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund MachSan Michele all’AdigeItaly
  3. 3.Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape ResearchBirmensdorfSwitzerland

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