Late-spring frost risk between 1959 and 2017 decreased in North America but increased in Europe and Asia

Constantin M. Zohner, Lidong Mo, Susanne S. Renner, Jens Christian Svenning, Yann Vitasse, Blas M. Benito, Alejandro Ordonez, Frederik Baumgarten, Jean François Bastin, Veronica Sebald, Peter B. Reich, Jingjing Liang, Gert Jan Nabuurs, Sergio De-Migueln, Giorgio Alberti, Clara Antón-Fernández, Radomir Balazy, Urs Beat Brändli, Han Y.H. Chen, Chelsea ChisholmEmil Cienciala, Selvadurai Dayanandan, Tom M. Fayle, Lorenzo Frizzera, Damiano Gianelle, Andrzej M. Jagodzinski, Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Tommaso Jucker, Sebastian Kepfer-Rojas, Mohammed Latif Khan, Hyun Seok Kim, Henn Korjus, Vivian Kvist Johannsen, Diana Laarmann, Mait Langn, Tomasz Zawila-Niedzwiecki, Pascal A. Niklaus, Alain Paquette, Hans Pretzsch, Purabi Saikia, Peter Schall, Vladimír Seben, Miroslav Svoboda, Elena Tikhonova, Helder Viana, Chunyu Zhang, Xiuhai Zhao, Thomas W. Crowther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Late-spring frosts (LSFs) affect the performance of plants and animals across the world's temperate and boreal zones, but despite their ecological and economic impact on agriculture and forestry, the geographic distribution and evolutionary impact of these frost events are poorly understood. Here, we analyze LSFs between 1959 and 2017 and the resistance strategies of Northern Hemisphere woody species to infer trees' adaptations for minimizing frost damage to their leaves and to forecast forest vulnerability under the ongoing changes in frost frequencies. Trait values on leaf-out and leaf-freezing resistance come from up to 1,500 temperate and boreal woody species cultivated in common gardens. We find that areas in which LSFs are common, such as eastern North America, harbor tree species with cautious (late-leafing) leaf-out strategies. Areas in which LSFs used to be unlikely, such as broad-leaved forests and shrublands in Europe and Asia, instead harbor opportunistic tree species (quickly reacting to warming air temperatures). LSFs in the latter regions are currently increasing, and given species' innate resistance strategies, we estimate that ∼35% of the European and ∼26% of the Asian temperate forest area, but only ∼10% of the North American, will experience increasing late-frost damage in the future. Our findings reveal region-specific changes in the spring-frost risk that can inform decision-making in land management, forestry, agriculture, and insurance policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume117
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. This work was supported by the ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (C.M.Z.); the China Scholarship Council (L.M.); Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Grant RE 603/25-1 (to S.S.R.); and DOB Ecology, Plant-for-the-Planet, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (T.W.C.). J.-C.S. considers this work a contribution to his Villum Investigator Project “Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World,” funded by Villum Fondon Grant 16549, and his Natural Sciences Project “Tree Diversity Dynamics under Climate Change,” funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark Grant 6108-00078B. A.O. was supported by both Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) Starting Grant AUFF-F-201 8-7-8 and H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Grant/ Award 748753; T.M.F. was supported by European Research Council Advanced Grant 669609; and A.M.J. was supported by the General Directorate of State Forests, Warsaw, Poland (Research Projects No. 1/07 and OR/2717/3/ 11). We thank the following agencies, initiatives, teams, and individuals for forest inventory data collection and financial or other technical support: the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); the Forest Service; the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program; the University of Alaska Fairbanks; the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture McIntire–Stennis Projects (accession no. 1017711); the NFI of Canada; the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (Canada); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and the Department of Biotechnology, the Government of India, through the project “Mapping and Quantitative Assessment of Geographic Distribution and Population Status of Plant Resources of Eastern Himalayan Region” (reference no. BT/PR7928/NDB/52/9/ 2006, dated 29 September 2006) for financial support; all persons who made the Third Spanish Forest Inventory possible, especially to the Área de Inven-tario y Estadísticas Forestales for facilitating the access to forest inventory data; the Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems (Germany) for providing NFI data; the Swiss, Italian, and French NFI for the work done to make forest inventory data publicly available; Instituto de Conservação da Natureza e Florestas–Dados do Inventário Florestal Nacional; and the state assignment of “Methodical Approaches to the Assessment of the Structural Organization and Functioning of Forest Ecosystems” (no. AAAA-A18-118052400130-7) for data collection in Russia.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (C.M.Z.); the China Scholarship Council (L.M.); Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Grant RE 603/25-1 (to S.S.R.); and DOB Ecology, Plant-for-the-Planet, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (T.W.C.). J.-CS. considers this work a contribution to his Villum Investigator Project "Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World," funded by Villum Fondon Grant 16549, and his Natural Sciences Project "Tree Diversity Dynamics under Climate Change," funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark Grant 6108-00078B. A.O. was supported by both Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) Starting Grant AUFF-F-201 8-7-8 and H2020 Marie Sk?odowska-Curie Actions Grant/ Award 748753; T.M.F. was supported by European Research Council Advanced Grant 669609; and A.M.J. was supported by the General Directorate of State Forests, Warsaw, Poland (Research Projects No. 1/07 and OR/2717/3/ 11). We thank the following agencies, initiatives, teams, and individuals for forest inventory data collection and financial or other technical support: the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); the Forest Service; the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program; the University of Alaska Fairbanks; the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture McIntire-Stennis Projects (accession no. 1017711); the NFI of Canada; the Minist?re des For?ts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Qu?bec (Canada); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and the Department of Biotechnology, the Government of India, through the project "Mapping and Quantitative Assessment of Geographic Distribution and Population Status of Plant Resources of Eastern Himalayan Region" (reference no. BT/PR7928/NDB/52/9/ 2006, dated 29 September 2006) for financial support; all persons who made the Third Spanish Forest Inventory possible, especially to the ?rea de Inventario y Estad?sticas Forestales for facilitating the access to forest inventory data; the Th?nen Institute of Forest Ecosystems (Germany) for providing NFI data; the Swiss, Italian, and French NFI for the work done to make forest inventory data publicly available; Instituto de Conserva??o da Natureza e Florestas-Dados do Invent?rio Florestal Nacional; and the state assignment of "Methodical Approaches to the Assessment of the Structural Organization and Functioning of Forest Ecosystems" (no. AAAA-A18-118052400130-7) for data collection in Russia.

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Freezing damage
  • Late frost
  • Phenology
  • Spring leaf-out

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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