European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 132, Issue 3, pp 469–480

Intensity and timing of warming and drought differentially affect growth patterns of co-occurring Mediterranean tree species

  • Elena Granda
  • J. Julio Camarero
  • Teresa E. Gimeno
  • Jesús Martínez-Fernández
  • Fernando Valladares
Original Paper

Abstract

Climate change involves warmer temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, increased climatic variability and, in Mediterranean regions, increased frequency and severity of droughts. Tree species may show different growth responses to these components of climatic change, which may trigger changes in forest composition and dominance. We assessed the influence of recent climatic changes on secondary growth of mature trees from four species co-occurring in a Mediterranean continental forest: Quercus ilex, Quercus faginea, Pinus nigra and Juniperus thurifera. We used dendrochronology to relate radial-growth variables [earlywood and latewood widths, basal area increment (BAI)] to annual and seasonal climatic variables for the period 1977–2007. Our results showed that Q. faginea BAI has declined, whereas J. thurifera BAI has increased over time while Q. ilex and P. nigra have maintained their growth rates. Growth was mainly favored by higher precipitations and tree size for all species. Reduced growth during extremely dry years was observed for all study species, but all of them except Q. faginea recovered their growth levels 2 years after drought. Our findings illustrate how the effects of climatic changes on growth should include analyses of seasonal climatic trends and extreme events such as severe droughts. We conclude that the seasonal timing of warming and precipitation alterations leading to drought events caused contrasting effects on growth of co-occurring Mediterranean tree species, compromising their future coexistence.

Keywords

Climate change Coexistence Mediterranean forests Dendroecology Drought Radial growth 

Supplementary material

10342_2013_687_MOESM1_ESM.doc (108 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 108 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Granda
    • 1
  • J. Julio Camarero
    • 2
    • 6
  • Teresa E. Gimeno
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jesús Martínez-Fernández
    • 4
  • Fernando Valladares
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratorio Internacional de Cambio Global (LINC-Global), Departamento de Biogeografía y Cambio GlobalMuseo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, MNCN, CSICMadridSpain
  2. 2.ARAID, Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, IPE, CSICZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Hawkesbury Institute for the EnvironmentUniversity of Western SydneyPenrith, SydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Centro de Investigación Forestal, INIAMadridSpain
  5. 5.Departamento de Biología y Geología, ESCETUniversidad Rey Juan CarlosMóstolesSpain
  6. 6.Departament d’EcologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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