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Long term forest management drives drought resilience in Mediterranean black pine forest

Abstract

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Spanish black pine showed greater resilience and resistance, but generally lower recovery to drought events in managed than in unmanaged forest stands under Mediterranean humid climate.

Abstract

Drought negative effects on forest ecosystems are projected to increase under global warming all over the world. In this context, forest management can be an effective option for reducing drought impacts and increasing tree growth stability to extreme drought events. Here, we aim to evaluate black pine (Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii) growth response to climatic variability and drought events in managed and unmanaged stands under similar Mediterranean climatic conditions. Drought events were identified using long-term climatic data, and basal area increments were calculated for 100–120-year old trees cored in managed and unmanaged plots. Results showed that tree size, temperature, and the interaction between management treatment and water availability significantly influenced tree growth. Basal area increment was reduced in response to the 1983, 1991, 1994‒1995, 1999–2000 and 2005 drought events. Trees in managed plots showed lower growth reductions in response to drought than those located in unmanaged plots, probably experiencing higher competition for soil water, whereas the reverse happened under wet climate conditions. Black pines showed greater resilience and resistance, but generally lower recovery to drought events in managed than in unmanaged stands. Our results suggest that forest management enhances drought tolerance in black pine stands, which may help to ameliorate the negative impacts of global warming across Mediterranean forest ecosystems.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the project POII10-0179-4700 of “Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha”. EA is supported by a postdoctoral grant by Complutense University of Madrid and by REMEDINAL TE-CM (S2018/EMT-4338). DCP is funded through a Juan de la Cierva research contract (Ref. IJCI-2017-31638), provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. David Candel-Pérez was funded through a Juan de la Cierva research contract (ref. IJCI-2017-31638), provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.

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Correspondence to M. E. Lucas-Borja.

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Lucas-Borja, M.E., Andivia, E., Candel-Pérez, D. et al. Long term forest management drives drought resilience in Mediterranean black pine forest. Trees 35, 1651–1662 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-021-02143-6

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Keywords

  • Dendroecology
  • Forest management
  • Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii
  • Radial growth
  • Resistance
  • Resilience