Volume 9, Issue 2 - May/June 2016
Research Hydrologist Shares Expertise in Europe
Climate change has no national territorial boundaries. In Hungary, where a majority of forestlands are at the forest steppe transition zone (called “xeric limits”), beech, oak, and black locust communities are facing serious threats from climate change. These forests are believed to be more sensitive to climate shifts than forests in other parts of the world, so the European Union is providing funds for Hungarian scientists to develop a forest decision support system to assist forest managers’ response plans for climate change adaptation.
In April, invited by Professor Csaba Mátyás at the University of West Hungary, research hydrologist Ge Sun presented “Threats of Climate Change and Droughts on U.S. Forests: Toward Developing Decision Support Systems” to researchers at the NEESPI Regional Focus Research Center for Non-boreal Eastern Europe. He provided an overview of computer tools developed by the Eastern Threat Center, including ForWarn, TACCIMO, and WaSSI, and discussed collaboration opportunities for forest ecohydrology and climate change research. Sun also toured the Magasberc Artificial Drought (MAD) experimental site near the town of Sopron that was designed to address effects of drought on forest sustainability. Following his visit to Hungary, Sun gave an oral presentation at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016 in Vienna, Austria, entitled “Divergence of Ecosystem Services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a Changing Climate,” based on a paper recently published in Scientific Reports.
Pictured: From left to right, Professor Zoltán Gribovszki and Attila Eredics (University of West Hungary) and Sun visit a forest hydrological station established in the 1980s. Photo by Norbert Móricz.