Declining pine growth in Central Spain coincides with increasing diurnal temperature range since the 1970s

Büntgen, Ulf; Martínez-Peña, Fernando; Aldea, Jorge; Rigling, Andreas; Fischer, Erich M.; Camarero, J. Julio; Hayes, Michael J.; Fatton, Vincent; Egli, Simon (2013). Declining pine growth in Central Spain coincides with increasing diurnal temperature range since the 1970s. Global and planetary change, 107, pp. 177-185. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2013.05.013

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Growing evidence suggests environmental change to be most severe across the semi-arid subtropics, with past, present and projected drying of the Mediterranean Basin posing a key multidisciplinary challenge. Consideration of a single climatic factor, however, often fails to explain spatiotemporal growth dynamics of drought-prone ecosystems. Here, we present annually resolved and absolutely dated ring width measurements of 871 Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) from 18 individual plot sites in the Central Spanish Pinar Grande forest reserve. Although comprising tree ages from 6 to 175 years, this network correlates surprisingly well with the inverse May–July diurnal temperature range (r = 0.84; p < 0.00011956–2011). Ring width extremes were triggered by pressure anomalies of the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the long-term growth decline coincided with Iberian-wide drying since the mid-1970s. Climate model simulations not only confirm this negative trend over the last decades but also project drought to continuously increase over the 21st century. Associated ecological effects and socio-economic consequences should be considered to improve adaptation strategies of agricultural and forest management, as well as biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Büntgen, Ulf

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

0921-8181

Publisher:

Elsevier Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

11 Aug 2014 14:10

Last Modified:

19 Oct 2015 09:25

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.gloplacha.2013.05.013

Uncontrolled Keywords:

climate change, dendroecology, diurnal temperature range, ecosystem response, forest growth, Mediterranean Basin

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.49651

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/49651

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