CR 62:1-14 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01251

Long-term effects of climate and land-use change on larch budmoth outbreaks in the French Alps

Giovanna Battipaglia1,2,3,*, Ulf Büntgen4,5,6, Shane P. J. McCloskey2, Olivier Blarquez1,2,7, Nicole Denis2, Laure Paradis2, Benoit Brossier2, Thomas Fournier1,2, Christopher Carcaillet1,2

1Paleoenvironments and Chronoecology (PALECO-EPHE), Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Institut de Botanique, 163 rue Broussonet, 34090 Montpellier, France
2Centre for Bio-Archaeology and Ecology (CNRS UMR5059), University of Montpellier 2, Institut de Botanique, 163 rue Broussonet, 34090 Montpellier, France
3Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies (Di.S.T.A.Bi.F.), Second University of Naples, Via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy
4Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
5Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
6Global Change Research Centre AS CR, v.v.i., 60300 Brno, Czech Republic
7Centre d’étude de la forêt, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Montréal, Québec H3C 3P8, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The intensity of cyclic larch budmoth (Zeiraphera diniana Guenée; LBM) outbreaks across the European Alps has been reported to have weakened since the early 1980s. In addition to a warmer climate, changes in land-use cover over modern and historical times may have affected the LBM system. Here, we present tree-ring-based reconstructions of LBM outbreaks from a mixed subalpine larch-pine forest in the French Alps for the period 1700-2010. Temporal variation in LBM outbreak severity was mainly driven by land-use changes, including varying forest structure and species composition. Human population pressure and associated resource demands for fuel wood and construction timber not only resulted in a reduction of larch and subsequent suppression of pine, but also supported an overall grassland expansion for livestock. Superimposed on modern land abandonment and pine re-colonization is a strong warming trend, which may also contribute to the observed late 20th-century weakening of Alpine-wide cyclic LBM outbreaks. Our results suggest that a complex interplay of different factors triggered less synchronized LBM outbreaks at broader scales, with overall significantly lower intensities at local scales.


KEY WORDS: Zeiraphera diniana · Tree rings · Climate change · Land use/cover change · Forest structure · Tree composition


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Cite this article as: Battipaglia G, Büntgen U, McCloskey SPJ, Blarquez O and others (2014) Long-term effects of climate and land-use change on larch budmoth outbreaks in the French Alps. Clim Res 62:1-14. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01251

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