30 Oct 2020

30 Oct 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Modelling the Ruin of Forests under Climate Hazards

Pascal Yiou and Nicolas Viovy Pascal Yiou and Nicolas Viovy
  • Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, UMR 8212 CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, IPSL & U Paris-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

Abstract. Estimating the risk of collapse of forests due to extreme climate events is one of the challenges of adaptation to climate change. We adapt a concept from ruin theory, which is widespread in econometrics or the insurance industry, to design a growth/ruin model for trees, under climate hazards that can jeopardize their growth. This model is an elaboration of a classical Cramer-Lundberg ruin model that is used in the insurance industry. The model accounts for the interactions between physiological parameters of trees and the occurrence of climate hazards. The physiological parameters describe interannual growth rates and how trees react to hazards. The hazard parameters describe the probability distributions of occurrence and intensity of climate events. We focus on a drought/heatwave hazard. The goal of the paper is to determine the dependence of ruin and average growth probability distributions as a function of physiological and hazard parameters. From extensive Monte Carlo experiments, we show the existence of a threshold on the frequency of hazards beyond which forest ruin becomes certain in a centennial horizon. We also detect a small effect of strategies to cope with hazards. This paper is a proof-of-concept to quantify collapse (of forests) under climate change.

Pascal Yiou and Nicolas Viovy

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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Pascal Yiou and Nicolas Viovy

Model code and software

Code and sample data sets for the ruin model for trees Pascal Yiou

Pascal Yiou and Nicolas Viovy


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Short summary
This paper presents a ruin model for trees, as a response to drought hazards. This model is inspired from a standard model of ruin in the insurance industry. We illustrate how ruin and the time of ruin can occur in present-day conditions and their sensitivity to hazard statistical properties. We also show how tree strategies to cope with hazard can affect their long time reserves and probability of ruin.