Modelling Change in Ground Vegetation Response to Acid and Nitrogen Pollution, Climate Change and Forest Management in Sweden 1500--2100 a.d.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ForSAFE model, designed for modelling biogeochemical cycles (water, acidity, base cation, nitrogen and carbon) in terrestrial ecosystems, was modified with a vegetation response module (VEG), incorporating the effects of: nitrogen pollution, acidification, soil moisture, temperature, wind chill exposure, light and shading by trees, grazing by animals, competition between plants, above ground for light and below ground for water and nutrients. The model calculates the response of number ground vegetation plant groups. The integrated model was tested and validated at integrated level II forest monitoring sites across Sweden, four have been shown here, and used to assess the effect of acidification and nitrogen pollution in relation to factors such as climate change, forest management and changing grazing pressure. The response functions have been derived from single-factor experiments and integrated through the model structure for use on whole systems. The tests with the model suggest that the ground vegetation composition is reasonably well predicted, that much research remains before the model is fully tested and operational, and that the model may serve as a tool for assessing impacts of climate change, acid rain and forest management on plant biodiversity in forested areas.


External organisations
  • Umeå University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Geography
  • Ecology
  • Chemical Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-179
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch