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Drought-induced weakening of growth-temperature associations in high-elevation Iberian pines
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
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2015 (English)In: Global and Planetary Change, ISSN 0921-8181, E-ISSN 1872-6364, Vol. 124, 95-106 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The growth/climate relationship of theoretically temperature-controlled high-elevation forests has been demonstrated to weaken over recent decades. This is likely due to new tree growth limiting factors, such as an increasing drought risk for ecosystem functioning and productivity across the Mediterranean Basin. In addition, declining tree growth sensitivity to spring temperature may emerge in response to increasing drought stress. Here, we evaluate these ideas by assessing the growth/climate sensitivity of 1500 tree-ring width (TRW) and 102 maximum density (MXD) measurement series from 711 and 74 Pinus uncinata trees, respectively, sampled at 28 high-elevation forest sites across the Pyrenees and two relict populations of the Iberian System. Different dendroclimatological standardization and split period approaches were used to assess the high- to low-frequency behavior of 20th century tree growth in response to temperature means, precipitation totals and drought indices. Long-term variations in TRW track summer temperatures until about 1970 but diverge afterwards, whereas MXD captures the recent temperature increase in the low-frequency domain fairly well. On the other hand summer drought has increasingly driven TRW along the 20th century. Our results suggest fading temperature sensitivity of Iberian high-elevation P. uncinata forest growth, and reveal the importance of summer drought that is becoming the emergent limiting factor of tree ring width formation in many parts of the Mediterranean Basin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 124, 95-106 p.
Keyword [en]
Climate change, Drought, Growth response, High-elevation forest, Pyrenees, Summer temperature
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115476DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.11.011ISI: 000349577800008OAI: diva2:798083


Available from: 2015-03-25 Created: 2015-03-24 Last updated: 2015-03-25Bibliographically approved

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Grudd, Håkan
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Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology
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