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Disentangling the relative role of climate change on tree growth in an extreme Mediterranean environment
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2018 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 642, p. 619-628Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change can impair ecosystem functions and services in extensive dry forests worldwide. However, attribution of climate change impacts on tree growth and forest productivity is challenging due to multiple interannual patterns of climatic variability associated with atmospheric and oceanic circulations. Moreover, growth responses to rising atmospheric CO2, namely carbon fertilization, as well as size ontogenetic changes can obscure the climate change signature as well. Here we apply Structural Equation Models (SEM) to investigate the relative role of climate change on tree growth in an extreme Mediterranean environment (i.e., extreme in terms of the combination of sandy-unconsolidated soils and climatic aridity). Specifically, we analyzed potential direct and indirect pathways by which different sources of climatic variability (i.e. warming and precipitation trends, the North Atlantic Oscillation, [NAO]; the Mediterranean Oscillation, MOO: the Atlantic Mediterranean Oscillation, [AMO]) affect aridity through their control on local climate (in terms of mean annual temperature and total annual precipitation), and subsequently tree productivity, in terms of basal area increments (BAI). Our results support the predominant role of Diameter at Breast Height (DHB) as the main growth driver. In terms of climate, NAO and AMO are the most important drivers of tree growth through their control of aridity (via effects of precipitation and temperature, respectively). Furthermore and contrary to current expectations, our findings also support a net positive role of climate warming on growth over the last 50 years and suggest that impacts of climate warming should be evaluated considering multi-annual and multi-decadal periods of local climate defined by atmospheric and oceanic circulation in the North Atlantic. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 642, p. 619-628
Keywords [en]
Tree growth, Dry forests, North Atlantic Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, Mediterranean Oscillation Index, Pinus pinaster Ait
National Category
Climate Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150641DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.064ISI: 000439405600061PubMedID: 29909329Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85048441314OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150641DiVA, id: diva2:1242862
Available from: 2018-08-29 Created: 2018-08-29 Last updated: 2018-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Andivia, EnriqueStoffel, MarkusCalatayud, Joaquin
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