Projection of impacts of climate change on windthrows and evaluation of potential adaptation measures in forest management: A case study from empirical modelling of windthrows in Hokkaido, Japan, by Typhoon Songda (2004)

Kohei T. Takano, Kosuke Nakagawa, Masahiro Aiba, Michio Oguro, Junko Morimoto, Yasuto Furukawa, Yoshio Mishima, Kenta Ogawa, Rui Ito, Tetsuya Takemi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A windthrow refers to the uprooting and overthrowing of trees by the wind. Typhoons are a major cause of windthrows in Japan and are predicted to intensify under global warming. This study aimed to estimate the impact of climate change on windthrows and evaluate possible adaptation measures for sustainable forest management. We incorporated Typhoon Songda (2004) simulation experiments under current and pseudo-global warming (2075–2099, RCP 8.5 scenario) conditions with windthrow modelling in four natural and four artificial (Abies sachalinensis, Pinaceae) forests of Hokkaido. Unexpectedly, pseudo-global warming conditions decreased windthrow probabilities compared with current conditions for both forest types, presumably because wind speeds of the simulated typhoon weakened in Japan’s high-latitude regions. Our results indicate that reconversion of artificial forests into natural forests largely decreased windthrow probability, providing a potential adaptation measure for improved forest management. To fully understand the range of climate-change effects on windthrow in Japan, future studies should use different climate scenarios and data from other typhoons, geographical regions, and forest types.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)132-138
    Number of pages7
    JournalHydrological Research Letters
    Volume10
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Keywords

    • Forest vulnerability
    • Machine learning
    • Maximum wind speed
    • Random forest modelling
    • Typhoon hazards
    • Windthrow risk

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Water Science and Technology
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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