Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services

Peñuelas, J., Sardans, J., Filella, I., Estiarte, M., Llusià, J., Ogaya, R., Carnicer, J., Bartrons, M., Rivas-Ubach, A., Grau, O., Peguero, G., Margalef, O., Pla-Rabés, S., Stefanescu, C., Asensio, D., Preece, C., Liu, L., Verger, A., Barbeta, A., Achotegui-Castells, A., Gargallo-Garriga, A., Sperlich, D., Farré-Armengol, G., Fernández-Martínez, M., Liu, D., Zhang, C., Urbina, I., Camino-Serrano, M., Vives-Ingla, M., Stocker, B.D., Balzarolo, M., Guerrieri, R., Peaucelle, M., Marañón-Jiménez, S., Bórnez-Mejías, K., Mu, Z., Descals, A., Castellanos, A., Terradas, J. (2017) Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services. Forests. 8: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.3390/f8120463

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Assessment of the impacts of climate change on Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems based on data from field experiments and long-term monitored field gradients in Catalonia

Peñuelas, J., Sardans, J., Filella, I., Estiarte, M., Llusià, J., Ogaya, R., Carnicer, J., Bartrons, M., Rivas-Ubach, A., Grau, O., Peguero, G., Margalef, O., Pla-Rabés, S., Stefanescu, C., Asensio, D., Preece, C., Liu, L., Verger, A., Rico, L., Barbeta, A., Achotegui-Castells, A., Gargallo-Garriga, A., Sperlich, D., Farré-Armengol, G., Fernández-Martínez, M., Liu, D., Zhang, C., Urbina, I., Camino, M., Vives, M., Nadal-Sala, D., Sabaté, S., Gracia, C., Terradas, J. (2016) Assessment of the impacts of climate change on Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems based on data from field experiments and long-term monitored field gradients in Catalonia. Environmental and Experimental Botany. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2017.05.012

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Community structures of N2-fixing bacteria associated with the phyllosphere of a Holm oak forest and their response to drought

Rico L., Ogaya R., Terradas J., Penuelas J. (2014) Community structures of N2-fixing bacteria associated with the phyllosphere of a Holm oak forest and their response to drought. Plant Biology. 16: 586-593.
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Doi: 10.1111/plb.12082

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Biological nitrogen (N) fixation is a key pathway in terrestrial ecosystems and is therefore critical for understanding the responses of ecosystems to global environmental changes. The free-living diazotrophic community is distributed along the canopy-to-soil profile, but the ecological significance of epiphyllic N2 fixers, despite their functional relevance, on plant foliar surfaces remains very poorly understood compared with the N2-fixing community in forest litter and soils. We assessed the community structure of N2 fixers and overall bacteria by genetic fingerprinting (t-RFLP) to explore the seasonal successional patterns of the microbial community in the natural phyllosphere of a Holm oak (Quercus ilex) forest submitted to 12-year field experiment of rain exclusion mimicking the conditions of drought projected for the coming decades. Leaves of Holm oak were analysed in different seasons over a period of 1.5 years. The bacterial community of the phyllosphere did not correspond to the surrounding soil biome in the same area. These analyses provided field evidence for the presence of free-living diazotrophs associated with the tissues of leaves of Holm oak, the dominant tree species of many Mediterranean forests. The results also revealed that the community composition is affected seasonally and inter-annually by the environment, and that the composition shifts in response to climate change. Drought treatment increased the richness of the epiphyllic microbial community, especially during the summer. These changes were associated with higher C:N ratios of leaves observed in response to drought in semiarid areas. This epiphyllic microbiota that can potentially fix N2 extends the capacity of plants to adapt to the environment. © 2013 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

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Summer season and long-term drought increase the richness of bacteria and fungi in the foliar phyllosphere of Quercus ilex in a mixed Mediterranean forest

Peñuelas J., Rico L., Ogaya R., Jump A.S., Terradas J. (2012) Summer season and long-term drought increase the richness of bacteria and fungi in the foliar phyllosphere of Quercus ilex in a mixed Mediterranean forest. Plant Biology. 14: 565-575.
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Doi: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2011.00532.x

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We explored the changes in richness, diversity and evenness of epiphytic (on the leaf surface) and endophytic (within leaf tissues) bacteria and fungi in the foliar phyllosphere of Quercus ilex, the dominant tree species of Mediterranean forests. Bacteria and fungi were assessed during ontogenic development of the leaves, from the wet spring to the dry summer season in control plots and in plots subjected to drought conditions mimicking those projected for future decades. Our aim was to monitor succession in microbiota during the colonisation of plant leaves and its response to climate change. Ontogeny and seasonality exerted a strong influence on richness and diversity of the microbial phyllosphere community, which decreased in summer in the whole leaf and increased in summer in the epiphytic phyllosphere. Drought precluded the decrease in whole leaf phyllosphere diversity and increased the rise in the epiphytic phyllosphere. Both whole leaf bacterial and fungal richness decreased with the decrease in physiological activity and productivity of the summer season in control trees. As expected, the richness of epiphytic bacteria and fungi increased in summer after increasing time of colonisation. Under summer dry conditions, there was a positive relationship between TRF (terminal restriction fragments) richness and drought, both for whole leaf and epiphytic phyllosphere, and especially for fungal communities. These results demonstrate that changes in climate are likely to significantly alter microbial abundance and composition of the phyllosphere. Given the diverse functions and large number of phyllospheric microbes, the potential functional implications of such community shifts warrant exploration. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

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Complex spatiotemporal phenological shifts as a response to rainfall changes

Peñuelas J., Filella I., Zhang X., Llorens L., Ogaya R., Lloret F., Comas P., Estiarte M., Terradas J. (2004) Complex spatiotemporal phenological shifts as a response to rainfall changes. New Phytologist. 161: 837-846.
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Doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2004.01003.x

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• Climatic warming produces significant gradual alterations in the timing of life-cycle events, and here we study the phenological effects of rainfall-pattern changes. • We conducted ecosystem field experiments that partially excluded rain and runoff during the growing season in a Mediterranean forest and in a mediterranean shrubland. Studies of time-series of leaf-unfolding, flowering and fruiting over the last 50 yr in central Catalonia were carried out, and greenup onset in the Iberian Peninsula was monitored by satellite images. • Experimental, historical and geographical changes in rainfall produced significant, complex and strongly species-specific, as well as spatially and temporally variable, phenological effects. Among these changes, it was found that in the Iberian Peninsula, greenup onset changes from spring (triggered by rising temperatures) in the northern cool-wet regions to autumn (triggered by the arrival of autumn rainfalls) in the southern warm-dry regions. Even in the mesic Mediterranean central Catalonia (NE of the peninsula) rainfall had a stronger relative influence than temperature on fruiting phenology. • The results show that changes in rainfall and water availability, an important driver of climate change, can cause complex phenological changes with likely far-reaching consequences for ecosystem and biosphere functioning and structure. The seasonal shift in the Iberian Peninsula further highlights this importance and indicates that vegetation may respond to climate change not only with gradual, but also with abrupt temporal and spatial, changes in the timing of greenup onset.

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