Growth responses of West-Mediterranean Pinus nigra to climate change are modulated by competition and productivity: Past trends and future perspectives uri icon

abstract

  • Positive and negative effects of climate change on forest growth have been observed in different parts of the world. However, much is still unknown about how forest structure and productivity might affect climate-growth relationships in the future. We examined the effects of climate, site quality, and competition on tree basal area growth of black pine (Pinus nigra Am.) between 1964 and 2005 in 21 sites in the Iberian Peninsula. We used a new approach to simultaneously account for climate-growth relationships, inter-annual growth variability, and stand structural changes, by fitting a linear mixed effects model (LMEM) for basal area increments (BAI) using climate data, tree-ring chronologies, and repeated forest inventory data. This approach showed the potential to improve our understanding of climate effects on tree growth and to include climate in empirical forest growth models. We used the LMEM to make projections of BAI growth under two CO2 emission scenarios and two global circulation models (GCM). The main climate drivers for growth were precipitation from previous autumn to summer and winter temperature with a positive effect, and temperature in spring-summer which had a negative effect. Tree response to climate was modulated by stand conditions, tree competition, and productivity. The more productive stands showed greater ability to either maintain or increase growth at warmer spring-summer temperatures under different levels of autumn-summer precipitation. Growth projections showed important regional differences. In general, growth under future climate is predicted to decrease although moderate growth increases might be expected in the northern region for highly and moderately productive stands. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011