Assessing alpine forest resilience in Western Sichuan’s changing climate


J. Xinran*

One of the most important indices of forest health is the ability of forests to recover from disruptions from the outside world and return to a stable condition. The ecological variety and resilience of forests are significantly impacted by climate change. To simulate the impact of various climate scenarios on the ecological resilience of alpine forests in western Sichuan over the next 300 years, we chose Mao County as the study region and used the forest landscape model LANDIS-II. In short simulations, climate change will favour a rise in forest ecological resilience values, but as the simulation moves into the intermediate and long terms, future climate scenarios will have a detrimental effect on forest ecological resilience. In the short-term simulation, the rate of change of the forest ecological resilience was higher in the MTDF and SCF ecotones, which had a higher proportion of Fir (Abies fabri) and Spruce (Picea asperata), than in the other ecotones. In contrast, the medium-term simulation showed the opposite. In all four ecotones in the long-term simulation, the pace of change of the ecological resilience of the forest was more significant. The MTDF and SCF ecotones between the study region's midwestern and northern regions were predominantly where the high levels of forest ecological resilience in the short and medium-term simulations were located. The research region's ecological resilience of the forests drastically declined as the simulation advanced to a later stage, with high values appearing only in a few spots in the western regions of the study region. The study's findings can be used to understand how future climatic changes will affect the ecological resilience of high mountain forests in western Sichuan and serve as a crucial resource for the development of the region's forests sustainably.

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