The MEDFATE model helps to understand the functioning and dynamics of water-limited mixed forests

The MEDFATE model helps to understand the functioning and dynamics of water-limited mixed forests. Image: Wikipedia Commons
The MEDFATE model helps to understand the functioning and dynamics of water-limited mixed forests. Image: Wikipedia Commons

A new study with the MEDFATE forest simulation model makes it possible to read into the effect of the mixture of plant species and their interactions in terms of water use and drought stress.

With the MEDFATE application it is found that the most relevant features to understand it are hydraulic and differences in height, although medfate-model-functioning-dynamics-water-limited-mixed-forests. Thanks to the new tool, forests dominated by holm oak and 8 co-occurring species have been evaluated, with a very focused approach on plant hydraulics and with data from 186 plots of mixed forest inventory.

Studies to date have shown a complex variety of responses from various species to water use and drought stress. However, the cost of replicating empirical studies limits progress in concrete knowledge of the functioning of mixed forests in this area. Therefore, the use of models such as MEDFATE is a useful complement to understanding the effect of species composition on the functioning and dynamics of water-limited mixed forests.

The results obtained are explained in the study Unravelling the effect of species mixing on water use and drought stress in Mediterranean forests: a modeling approach, which has been published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology under the coordination and leadership of Miquel De Cáceres, CTFC researcher, and in which CREAF researchers Victor Granda, Jordi Martínez-Vilalta, Maurizio Mencuccini and Rafael Poyatos have participated.

More information about the MEDFATE simulation model (in Spanish).

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