, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 41-47

Relationships between climate and radial growth in black pine (Pinus nigra Arnold ssp. salzmannii (Dunal) Franco) from the south of France

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Abstract

• Context

The Salzmann pine (Pinus nigra ssp. salzmannii) is an endemic subspecies of black pine native to the Western Mediterranean basin. In Spain, Salzmann pine covers extensive areas (approx. 350 000 ha), while in France where few scattered populations subsist, its distribution area is estimated at approx. 3 000 ha.

• Method

We used a dendroecological approach to understand the impact of climate fluctuations on Salzmann pine from France. Spatial and temporal variability of radial growth response was compared in three ecologically different populations (Conflent, Gorges du Tarn, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert).

• Results

The Conflent population showed a strong sensitivity to spring precipitation deficits (March to June), while at Gorges du Tarn and Saint-Guilhem sites, autumn (October) of the previous year and winter (February) temperatures explained more variance than precipitations and were, respectively, negatively and positively correlated to radial growth.

• Conclusion

Although covering a limited distribution range in France, Salzmann pine demonstrated large differences in radial growth response to climate and soil variations.

Handling Editor: Erwin Dreyer

Contribution of the co-authors

Frédéric Guibal: fieldwork assistance, data analysis, supervising the work, and writing of paper
Bruno Fady: sampling design, fieldwork assistance, supervising the work, and writing of paper
We submit this article within the framework of special MedPine4 conference (Avignon, 6–10 June 2011).