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Academic – Douglas Fir Growth Is Constrained by Drought: Delineating the Climatic Limits of Timber Species under Seasonally Dry Conditions
Antonio Gazol, Cristina Valeriano, Alejandro Cantero, ...
AuthorsAntonio Gazol Cristina Valeriano Alejandro Cantero Marta Vergarechea Jesús Julio Camarero
There is debate on which tree species can sustain forest ecosystem services in a drier and warmer future. In Europe, the use of non-native timber species, such as Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco), is suggested as a solution to mitigate climate change impacts because of their high growth resilience to drought. However, the biogeographical, climatic and ecological limits for widely planted timber species still need to be defined. Here, we study the growth response to climate variables and drought of four Douglas fir plantations in northern Spain subjected to contrasting climate conditions. Further, we measure wood density in one of the sites to obtain a better understanding of growth responses to climate. Correlative analyses and simulations based on the Vaganov–Shaskin process-based model confirm that growth of Douglas fir is constrained by warm and dry conditions during summer and early autumn, particularly in the driest study site. Minimum wood density increased in response to dry spring conditions. Therefore, planting Douglas fir in sites with a marked summer drought will result in reduced growth but a dense earlywood. Stands inhabiting dry sites are vulnerable to late-summer drought stress and can act as “sentinel plantations”, delineating the tolerance climate limits of timber species.
Academic – Future wood demands and ecosystem services trade-offs: A policy analysis in Norway
Marta Vergarechea, Rasmus Astrup, Carolin Fischer, ...
AuthorsMarta Vergarechea Rasmus Astrup Carolin Fischer Knut Øistad Clemens Blattert Markus Hartikainen Kyle Eyvindson Fulvio Di Fulvio Nicklas Forsell Daniel Burgas Astor Toraño-Caicoya Mikko Mönkkönen Clara Antón Fernández
To mitigate climate change, several European countries have launched policies to promote the development of a renewable resource-based bioeconomy. These bioeconomy strategies plan to use renewable biological resources, which will increase timber and biomass demands and will potentially conflict with multiple other ecosystem services provided by forests. In addition, these forest ecosystem services (FES) are also influenced by other, different, policy strategies, causing a potential mismatch in proposed management solutions for achieving the different policy goals. We evaluated how Norwegian forests can meet the projected wood and biomass demands from the international market for achieving mitigation targets and at the same time meet nationally determined targets for other FES. Using data from the Norwegian national forest inventory (NFI) we simulated the development of Norwegian forests under different management regimes and defined different forest policy scenarios, according to the most relevant forest policies in Norway: national forest policy (NFS), biodiversity policy (BIOS), and bioeconomy policy (BIES). Finally, through multi-objective optimization, we identified the combination of management regimes matching best with each policy scenario. The results for all scenarios indicated that Norway will be able to satisfy wood demands of up to 17 million m3 in 2093. However, the policy objectives for FES under each scenario caused substantial differences in terms of the management regimes selected. We observed that BIES and NFS resulted in very similar forest management programs in Norway, with a dominance of extensive management regimes. In BIOS there was an increase of set aside areas and continuous cover forestry, which made it more compatible with biodiversity indicators. We also found multiple synergies and trade-offs between the FES, likely influenced by the definition of the policy targets at the national scale.
Academic – Short- and long-term growth response to climate in mixed and monospecific forests of Pinus pinea and Pinus pinaster
Marta Vergarechea, Rafael Calama, Hans Pretzsch, ...
AuthorsMarta Vergarechea Rafael Calama Hans Pretzsch Josu G. Alday Miren del Río
Over recent decades, climate change has been particularly severe in the Mediterranean basin, where the intensity and frequency of drought events have had a significant effect on tree growth and mortality. In this context, differences in structural and physiological strategies between tree species could help to mitigate the damage inflicted by climate variability and drought events. Here, we used dendroecological approaches to observe common associations (synchrony) between indexed ring width in Pinus pinea and P. pinaster, as a measure of degree of dependence on climate variation or growth sensitivity to climate, as well as to analyze species growth responses to drought events through the Lloret’s indices of resistance, recovery and resilience. Based on data from 75 mixed and pure plots installed in the Northern Plateau of Spain, we used modeling tools to detect the effect of the mixture, along with climate and stand-related variables, on the short-term responses and long-term growth sensitivity to climate. Our results showed a trade-off between resistance and recovery after the drought episodes. In addition, different attributes of tree species, such as age and size as well as stand density seemed to act synergistically and compensate drought stress in different ways. The presence of age and quadratic mean diameter as covariates in the final synchrony model for P. pinaster reflected the influence of other variables as modulators of growth response to climate. Furthermore, differences in growth synchrony in mixed and monospecific composition suggested the existence of interactions between the two species and some degree of temporal niche complementarity. In mixed stands, P. pinaster exhibited a lower sensitivity to climate than in monospecific composition, whereas P. pinea enhanced its resistance to extreme droughts. These results allowed us to identify the species-specific behavior of P. pinea and P. pinaster to mitigate vulnerability to climate-related extremes.
Academic – Tree growth is more limited by drought in rear-edge forests most of the times
J. Julio Camarero, Antonio Gazol, Gabriel Sangüesa-Barreda, ...
AuthorsJ. Julio Camarero Antonio Gazol Gabriel Sangüesa-Barreda Marta Vergarechea Raquel Alfaro-Sánchez Nicolas Cattaneo Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano
Background Equatorward, rear-edge tree populations are natural monitors to estimate species vulnerability to climate change. According to biogeographical theory, exposition to drought events increases with increasing aridity towards the equator and the growth of southern tree populations will be more vulnerable to drought than in central populations. However, the ecological and biogeographical margins can mismatch due to the impact of ecological factors (topography, soils) or tree-species acclimation that can blur large-scale geographical imprints in trees responses to drought making northern populations more drought limited. Methods We tested these ideas in six tree species, three angiosperms (Fagus sylvatica, Quercus robur, Quercus petraea) and three gymnosperms (Abies alba, Pinus sylvestris and Pinus uncinata) by comparing rear-edge tree populations subjected to different degrees of aridity. We used dendrochronology to compare the radial-growth patterns of these species in northern, intermediate, and southern tree populations at the continental rear edge. Results and conclusions We found marked variations in growth variability between species with coherent patterns of stronger drought signals in the tree-ring series of the southern populations of F. sylvatica, P. sylvestris, and A. alba. This was also observed in species from cool-wet sites (P. uncinata and Q. robur), despite their limited responsiveness to drought. However, in the case of Q. petraea the intermediate population showed the strongest relationship to drought. For drought-sensitive species as F. sylvatica and P. sylvestris, southern populations presented more variable growth which was enhanced by cool-wet conditions from late spring to summer. We found a trend of enhanced vulnerability to drought in these two species. The response of tree growth to drought has a marked biogeographical component characterized by increased drought sensitivity in southern populations even within the species distribution rear edge. Nevertheless, the relationship between tree growth and drought varied between species suggesting that biogeographical and ecological limits do not always overlap as in the case of Q. petraea. In widespread species showing enhanced vulnerability to drought, as F. sylvatica and P. sylvestris, increased vulnerability to climate warming in their rear edges is forecasted. Therefore, we encourage the monitoring and conservation of such marginal tree populations.
Academic – Effects of elevation-dependent climate warming on intra- and inter-specific growth synchrony in mixed mountain forests
Miren del Río, Marta Vergarechea, Torben Hilmers, ...
AuthorsMiren del Río Marta Vergarechea Torben Hilmers Josu G. Alday Admir Avdagić Franz Binderh Michal Bošeľa Laura Dobor David I. Forrester Velid Halilović Aida Ibrahimspahic Matija Klopcic Mathieu Lévesque Thomas A. Nagel Zuzana Sitková Gerhard Schütze Branko Stajic Dejan Stojanovic Enno Uhl Tzvetan Zlatanov Roberto Tognetti Hans Pretzsch
Spruce-fir-beech mixed forests cover a large area in European mountain regions, with high ecological and socio-economic importance. As elevation-zone systems they are highly affected by climate change, which is modifying species growth patterns and productivity shifts among species. The extent to which associated tree species can access resources and grow asynchronously may affect their resistance and persistence under climate change. Intra-specific synchrony in annual tree growth is a good indicator of species specific dependence on environmental conditions variability. However, little attention has been paid to explore the role of the inter-specific growth asynchrony in the adaptation of mixed forests to climate change. Here we used a database of 1790 tree-ring series collected from 28 experimental plots in spruce-fir-beech mixed forests across Europe to explore how spatio-temporal patterns of the intra- and inter-specific growth synchrony relate to climate variation during the past century. We further examined whether synchrony in growth response to inter-annual environmental fluctuations depended on site conditions. We found that the inter-specific growth synchrony was always lower than the intra-specific synchrony, for both high (inter-annual fluctuations) and low frequency (mid- to long-term) growth variation, suggesting between species niche complementarity at both temporal levels. Intra- and inter-specific synchronies in inter-annual growth fluctuations significantly changed along elevation, being greater at higher elevations. Moreover, the climate warming likely induced temporal changes in synchrony, but the effect varied along the elevation gradient. The synchrony strongly intensified at lower elevations likely due to climate warming and drying conditions. Our results suggest that intra- and inter-specific growth synchrony can be used as an indicator of temporal niche complementarity among species. We conclude that spruce-fir-beech mixtures should be preferred against mono-specific forests to buffer climate change impacts in mountain regions.