A new study by the Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems (IMFE) in Greece focuses on climate change and extreme weather outcomes in Greek forests. The research relies on data from the Scopus and Mendeley databases as well as few official reports and identifies two to four knowledge gaps and one to three key challenges related to the six research areas (climate trends, forest management, biodiversity, genetics, insects, and wildfires).
Greek mountain forests at 520–1310 metres experience decreasing annual mean and minimum temperatures (−0.015 and −0.027 °C yr–1) but increasing maximum temperatures (+0.014 °C yr–1), especially in Southern Greece (+0.047 °C yr–1).
Recent findings reveal forests migrating to higher altitudes with favorable conditions, correlating with water availability, temperature, and tree growth, necessitating further research on forest productivity. A decline in fir tree-ring growth (Average Tree Ring Width Index < 0.6) is observed in mainland Greece, indicating temperature’s effect on growth.
Effective forest tree conservation requires prioritising biodiversity monitoring, considering climate change impacts on phenology and addressing the absence of strategies to protect and enhance genetic diversity. Climate change influenced 70 forestry pests’ ranges, notably among Greek insect pests. Annual burned areas from forest fires data indicate a consistent long-term increasing trend, underscoring fire prevention prioritisation and exploring fire risk, behavior, and climate change.
Koulelis, P.P.; Proutsos, N.; Solomou, A.D.; Avramidou, E.V.; Malliarou, E.; Athanasiou, M.; Xanthopoulos, G.; Petrakis, P.V. Effects of Climate Change on Greek Forests: A Review. Atmosphere 2023, 14, 1155. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14071155