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Combined effects of climate and exotic pathogens increase mortality and hinder natural regeneration of an important oak species at its southern distribution

AuthorsMatías Resina, Luis; Abdelaziz, Mohamed; Godoy, Óscar ; Gómez Aparicio, Lorena
Issue DateFeb-2019
CitationAbstract book of the 1st Meeting of the Iberian Ecological Society (SIBECOL) & XIV AEET meeting, pág. 121: TS.02-O-22 (2019)
AbstractGlobal change is altering the performance of plant species worldwide. However, these pressures usually differ across the species’ distribution range. To properly assess the combined effect of global change drivers at species level, we need to evaluate its consequences across their complete distribution. To evaluate the current trends in population dynamics across species’ distribution and the factors implied on population decline, we selected ten sites separated about one degree in latitude across the core distribution of Quercus suber, following a transcontinental aridity gradient, and determined the variations in key ecological indicators of population performance: reproductive investment, demographical structure, dominance of recruitment bank, defoliation and mortality. Demographic structure was determined by latitude, precipitation and Phytophthora cinnamomi abundance (a soil borne-pathogen causing death in Q. suber). We detected a trend towards reduced sapling densities at the southern distribution, with a demographic structure dominated by old trees. The low sapling density at the southern edge translates into a loss of dominance respect other woody species, suggesting an ongoing alteration of community structure. Population density, precipitation and pathogen abundance were the main causes of tree mortality across the species distribution, with a higher abundance of P. cinnamomi at central-latitude populations. Our results allow the early detection of declining trends and the evaluation of the main risks for the maintenance of important forest, and suggest an ongoing range displacement of the species driven by the recruitment collapse at the southern edge of the distribution and a high potential for range expansion at northern populations.
DescriptionComunicación oral (TS.02-O-22) presentada en the 1st Meeting of the Iberian Ecological Society (SIBECOL) & XIV AEET meeting. Barcelona, Spain, 4th – 7th February 2019
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Comunicaciones congresos
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