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Factors driving growth responses to drought in Mediterranean forests

AuthorsPasho, Edmond ; Camarero, Jesús Julio ; Luis Arrillaga, M. de; Vicente Serrano, Sergio M.
Issue Date2012
CitationEuropean Journal of Forest Research 131: 1797- 1807 (2012)
Abstract[EN] We lack information regarding the main factors driving growth responses to drought in tree species with different vulnerability against this stressor and considering sites with contrasting climatic conditions. In this paper, we identify the main drivers controlling growth response to a multi-scalar drought index (Standardized Precipitation Index, SPI) in eight tree species (Abiesalba, Pinus halepensis, Quercus faginea, Pinus sylvestris, Quercus ilex, Pinus pinea, Pinus nigra, Juniperus thurifera). We sampled forests growing across a pronounced climatic gradient under Mediterranean conditions in north-eastern Spain. To summarize the patterns of growth responses to drought, we used principal component analysis (PCA). To determine the main factors affecting growth responses to drought, correlation and regression analyses were carried out using a set of abiotic (climate, topography, soil type) and biotic (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Enhanced Vegetation Index, tree-ring width, diameter at breast height) predictors and the PCs loadings as response variables. The PCA analysis detected two patterns of growth responses to drought corresponding to xeric and mesic sites, respectively. The regression analyses indicated that growth responses to drought in xeric forests were mainly driven by the annual precipitation, while in mesic sites the annual water balance was the most important driver. The management of Mediterranean forests under the forecasted warmer and drier conditions should focus on the main local factors modulating the negative impacts of drought on tree growth in xeric and mesic sites. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10342-012-0633-6
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10342-012-0633-6
issn: 1612-4669
Appears in Collections:(IPE) Artículos
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