We investigated the dendroclimatic response of a Pinus heldreichii metapopulation distributed over a wide elevation interval (from 882 to 2143 m a.s.l.), spanning from low mountain to upper subalpine vegetation belts in the southern Italian Apennines. The tested hypothesis is that wood growth along an elevational gradient is non-linearly related to air temperature. During three years of fieldwork (2012-2015) at 24 sites, we collected wood cores from a total of 214 pine trees with diameter at breast height from 19 to 180 cm (average 82.7 & PLUSMN; 32.9 cm). We used a combination of tree-ring and genetic methods to reveal factors involved in growth acclimation using a space-for-time approach. Scores from ca-nonical correspondence analysis were used to combine individual tree-ring series into four composite chronologies re-lated to air temperature along the elevation gradient. Overall, the June dendroclimatic response followed a bell-shaped thermal niche curve, increasing until a peak around 13-14 & DEG;C. A similarly bell-shaped response was found with previ-ous autumn air temperature, and both dendroclimatic signals interacted with stem size and growth rates, generating a divergent growth response between the top and the bottom of the elevation gradient. Increased tree growth in the upper subalpine belt was consistent with the consequences of increasing air temperature under no drought stress. A positive link was uncovered between pine growth at all elevations and April mean temperature, with trees growing at the lowest elevations showing the strongest growth response. No elevational genetic differences were found, hence long-lived tree species with small geographical ranges may reverse their climatic response between the lower and upper bioclimatic zones of their environmental niche. Our study revealed a high resistance and acclimation capa-bility of Mediterranean forest stands, and such low vulnerability to changing climatic conditions highlights the poten-tial to store carbon in these ecosystems for the coming decades.

Bell-shaped tree-ring responses to air temperature drive productivity trends in long-lived mountain Mediterranean pines

Piovesan G.;Rita A.;Borghetti M.;Gentilesca T.;Ripullone F.;Schettino A.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

We investigated the dendroclimatic response of a Pinus heldreichii metapopulation distributed over a wide elevation interval (from 882 to 2143 m a.s.l.), spanning from low mountain to upper subalpine vegetation belts in the southern Italian Apennines. The tested hypothesis is that wood growth along an elevational gradient is non-linearly related to air temperature. During three years of fieldwork (2012-2015) at 24 sites, we collected wood cores from a total of 214 pine trees with diameter at breast height from 19 to 180 cm (average 82.7 & PLUSMN; 32.9 cm). We used a combination of tree-ring and genetic methods to reveal factors involved in growth acclimation using a space-for-time approach. Scores from ca-nonical correspondence analysis were used to combine individual tree-ring series into four composite chronologies re-lated to air temperature along the elevation gradient. Overall, the June dendroclimatic response followed a bell-shaped thermal niche curve, increasing until a peak around 13-14 & DEG;C. A similarly bell-shaped response was found with previ-ous autumn air temperature, and both dendroclimatic signals interacted with stem size and growth rates, generating a divergent growth response between the top and the bottom of the elevation gradient. Increased tree growth in the upper subalpine belt was consistent with the consequences of increasing air temperature under no drought stress. A positive link was uncovered between pine growth at all elevations and April mean temperature, with trees growing at the lowest elevations showing the strongest growth response. No elevational genetic differences were found, hence long-lived tree species with small geographical ranges may reverse their climatic response between the lower and upper bioclimatic zones of their environmental niche. Our study revealed a high resistance and acclimation capa-bility of Mediterranean forest stands, and such low vulnerability to changing climatic conditions highlights the poten-tial to store carbon in these ecosystems for the coming decades.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/174837
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