The effect of forest disturbance on landscape temperature

Petra Hesslerová, Hanna Huryna, Jan Pokorný, Jan Procházka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Since the 1990s, the territory of the Šumava National Park (Czech Republic) has faced significant changes in land cover, especially deforestation, in conjunction with several bark beetle disturbances and hurricane Kyrill in 2007. The aim of the study is to review the hydrological and climatic function of the forest and deforestation impacts on the landscape temperature. As a case study, surface temperature changes of the selected area of Šumava National Park from the satellite Landsat thermal data is presented from 1991 to 2016. At the sites with decayed forest, the surface temperature increased by 2–4 °C. Images from ground temperature measurements illustrate extreme temperature differences (∼35 °C) at locations where dead wood has not been removed; in the live forest, they are around 5 °C. Further, we show the increase in air temperature is associated with the decay of forest stands, including snow melting. The duration of the permanent snow cover on the mountaintops with the growing forest in the last four years is, on average, 11 days longer than the areas with decayed forest. The results show that the increase in surface temperature in the large area causes changes in the local climate and hydrological regime. These changes may have a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystems, including the Šumava wetlands and peat bogs belonging to the Ramsar sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bark beetle
  • Deforestation
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Ground thermal measurement
  • Landsat
  • Landscape drying
  • Snow melting
  • Surface and air temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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