Climatic Change

, Volume 105, Issue 1–2, pp 67–90 | Cite as

Climatic trends and different drought adaptive capacity and vulnerability in a mixed Abies pinsapoPinus halepensis forest

  • Juan Carlos LinaresEmail author
  • Antonio Delgado-Huertas
  • José Antonio Carreira


The projected temperature rise, rainfall decrease and concentration of rainfall in extreme events could induce growth decline and die-off on tree populations located at the geographical distribution limit of the species. Understanding of adaptive capacity and regional vulnerability to climate change in Mediterranean forests is not well developed and requires more focused research efforts. We studied the relationships between spatiotemporal patterns of temperature and precipitation along the southwestern edge of the Betic range (southern Spain) and measured basal area increment (BAI) and carbon isotope (Δ) in tree ring series of Abies pinsapo and Pinus halepensis, two Mediterranean conifer trees with contrasting drought adaptive capacity. Climatic information was obtained from a network covering a wide range of elevations and distances from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. Temperature trends were tested by the Mann–Kendall test, and precipitation was thoroughly analyzed by quantile regression. Climatic data showed a warming trend, enhanced since the 1970s, while quantile regressions revealed that drought events worsened during the course of the twentieth century. Long-term decrease of A. pinsapo BAI was related to regional warming and changing precipitation patterns, suggesting increasing drought stress on this species. Both temperature and precipitation in the summer influenced wood Δ in P. halepensis, whereas negative correlation between wood Δ and current autumn temperature was yielded for A. pinsapo. Increased intrinsic water use efficiency was inferred from wood Δ in both species; however, A. pinsapo showed sudden growth reductions under drier conditions, while pine trees were able to maintain almost constant BAI values and lower water costs under increasing long-term water stress.


Tree Ring Radial Growth Quantile Regression Kendall Test Basal Area Increment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Carlos Linares
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antonio Delgado-Huertas
    • 2
  • José Antonio Carreira
    • 3
  1. 1.Área de EcologíaUniversidad Pablo de OlavideSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Biogeoquímica de Isótopos EstablesInstituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra CSICGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Área de EcologíaUniversidad de JaénJaénSpain

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