Trees

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 843–853

Response of Pinus sylvestris L. to recent climatic events in the French Mediterranean region

  • Ali Thabeet
  • Michel Vennetier
  • Claude Gadbin-Henry
  • Nicole Denelle
  • Maurice Roux
  • Yves Caraglio
  • Bruno Vila
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00468-009-0326-z

Cite this article as:
Thabeet, A., Vennetier, M., Gadbin-Henry, C. et al. Trees (2009) 23: 843. doi:10.1007/s00468-009-0326-z

Abstract

Exceptional climatic events from 2003 to 2005 (scorching heat and drought) affected the whole of the vegetation in the French Mediterranean region and in particular the Scots pine (Pinussylvestris L.), one of the most important forest tree species in this area. To understand its response to these extreme conditions, we investigated its radial growth, branch length growth, architectural development and reproduction for the period 1995–2005, and linked these variables to climatic parameters. We used four plots situated in southeastern France and presenting different levels of site quality and potential forest productivity. The results show that: (1) the climatic episode 2003–2005 was highly detrimental to the growth (bole and branches), crown development, and cone production but favored the production of male flowers; (2) these variables depend on climatic factors of both the current and previous years; (3) the 2003 scorching heat impact was strong but was mainly apparent from 2004; it was part of a 6-year-long unfavorable cycle beginning in 2000, characterized by high minimum and maximum temperatures and very dry springs; (4) in spite of a significant effect of site quality, the Scots pine’s response to extreme climatic conditions was homogeneous in the French Mediterranean area; and (5) the stress induced by poor site conditions generally resulted in the same consequences for tree growth, architecture, and reproduction as in unfavorable climatic conditions.

Keywords

Pinussylvestris LScorching heatDroughtGrowthReproduction

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Thabeet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michel Vennetier
    • 2
  • Claude Gadbin-Henry
    • 3
  • Nicole Denelle
    • 3
  • Maurice Roux
    • 3
  • Yves Caraglio
    • 4
  • Bruno Vila
    • 5
  1. 1.IMEPUniversité Paul CézanneMarseille Cedex 20France
  2. 2.CEMAGREFAix-en-ProvenceFrance
  3. 3.Université Paul CézanneMarseille Cedex 20France
  4. 4.CIRAD, UMR AMAPMontpellierFrance
  5. 5.Université de Provence, Case 4Marseille Cedex 03France