Forest stocks control long‐term climatic mortality risks in Scots pine dry‐edge forests

Madrigal‐González, Jaime; Ballesteros‐Cánovas, Juan A.; Zavala, Miguel A.; Morales-Molino, César; Stoffel, Markus (2020). Forest stocks control long‐term climatic mortality risks in Scots pine dry‐edge forests. Ecosphere, 11(8), e03201. Ecological Society of America 10.1002/ecs2.3201

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Forest research has addressed the importance of an improved understanding of drought–stocks interactions in the dry edge of tree species range. Nonetheless, more efforts are still critically needed to link up the multiple ways by which climatic stressors can trigger tree mortality, including population‐level determinants and management. Here, we analyze the interactive effects of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a surrogate of climatic variability in southwestern Europe, and forest stocks on tree mortality in dry‐edge populations of the most widespread Eurasian tree species, Pinus sylvestris L., in the forest of Valsaín (central Spain). Specifically, we use tree mortality data gathered since 1941 in six multiannual periods. Results suggest that the main mortality risks in these forests can occur either in positive or negative NAO phases, but that their relative impacts are critically mediated by forest structure. In NAO+ periods, commonly associated with warm–dry conditions in the Iberian Peninsula, a peak of mortality was found in closed forest sections, whereas the second peak, found in open forest sections, was related to NAO‐ periods, correlated with temperate‐rainy weather conditions. This finding reinforces the key role of management—through its control on forest structure—as a driver of forest vulnerability to climate. Accounting for the multiple ways in which stocks modulate tree responses to different risks emerges as a critical element when it comes to the design of efficient adaptation measures in managed dry‐edge forests.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Morales del Molino, Cesar

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

2150-8925

Publisher:

Ecological Society of America

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

25 Sep 2020 13:58

Last Modified:

25 Sep 2020 13:58

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/ecs2.3201

Uncontrolled Keywords:

adaptation; climate change; dry-edge forests; Pinus sylvestris; Valsain forests.

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146714

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146714

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