Environmental drivers interactively affect individual tree growth across temperate European forests.
Authors of this article are:
Maes SL, Perring MP, Vanhellemont M, Depauw L, van den Bulcke J, Brūmelis G, Brunet J, Decocq G, den Ouden J, Härdtle W, Hédl R, Heinken T0, Heinrichs S, Jaroszewicz B, Kopecký M, Máliš F, Wulf M, Verheyen K.
A summary of the article is shown below:
Forecasting the growth of tree species to future environmental changes requires a better understanding of its determinants. Tree growth is known to respond to global-change drivers such as climate change or atmospheric deposition, as well as to local land-use drivers such as forest management. Yet, large geographical-scale studies examining interactive growth responses to multiple global-change drivers are relatively scarce, and rarely consider management effects. Here, we assessed the interactive effects of three global-change drivers (temperature, precipitation, nitrogen deposition) on individual tree growth of three study species (Quercus robur/petraea, Fagus sylvatica, Fraxinus excelsior). We sampled trees along spatial environmental gradients across Europe, and accounted for the effects of management for Quercus. We collected increment cores from 267 trees distributed over 151 plots in 19 forest regions, and characterized their neighboring environment to take into account potentially confounding factors such as tree size, competition, soil conditions, and elevation. We demonstrate that growth responds interactively to global-change drivers, with species-specific sensitivities to the combined factors. Simultaneously high levels of precipitation and deposition benefited Fraxinus, but negatively affected Quercus’ growth, highlighting species-specific interactive tree growth responses to combined drivers. For Fagus, a stronger growth response to higher temperatures was found when precipitation was also higher, illustrating the potential negative effects of drought stress under warming for this species. Furthermore, we show that past forest management can modulate the effects of changing temperatures on Quercus’ growth: individuals in plots with a coppicing history showed stronger growth responses to higher temperatures. Overall, our findings highlight how tree growth can be interactively determined by global-change drivers, and how these growth responses might be modulated by past forest management. By showing future growth changes for scenarios of environmental change, we stress the importance of considering multiple drivers, including past management, and their interactions, when predicting tree growth. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as:
Fagus;Fraxinus;Quercus;Tree-ring analysis;basal area increment;climate change;historical ecology;nitrogen deposition
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