Survival vs. growth trade-off in early recruitment challenges global warming impacts on Mediterranean mountain trees

(2015) Survival vs. growth trade-off in early recruitment challenges global warming impacts on Mediterranean mountain trees. . : -.
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Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2015.06.004

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Herbivory and seedling establishment in Pyrenean forests: Influence of micro- and meso-habitat factors on browsing pressure

Ameztegui A., Coll L. (2015) Herbivory and seedling establishment in Pyrenean forests: Influence of micro- and meso-habitat factors on browsing pressure. Forest Ecology and Management. 342: 103-111.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2015.01.021

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Browsing damage is among the most determinant factors that limit the establishment of tree seedlings in forests. In some areas, this process leads to massive mortalities that can reduce or even completely prevent the regeneration of some tree species. Mediterranean mountain forests have undergone during the last decades important changes in land-uses that have significantly altered the type and abundance of herbivore populations. In this study we assessed the impact of current grazing conditions in forest regeneration using a set of experimental plantations established in the Eastern Pyrenees in areas visited by domestic livestock (cattle and horses) and wild ungulates (mainly roe deer and chamois). We analyzed during 4. years the role of seedling species and size, mesohabitat (elevation and type of forest cover) and microhabitat (herbaceous cover, distance to shrub, and light availability) on the browsing-induced mortality of more than 500 seedlings of Pinus sylvestris, Pinus uncinata, Betula pendula and Abies alba, the most common tree species in the study area. Browsing-induced mortality for the three conifer species was much lower (40%) and depended on both microhabitat - mainly on the distance to protective elements such as shrubs; and mesohabitat, with an interaction between the elevational belt (site) and the type of forest cover (gaps vs. understory). In the subalpine belt, browsing on A. alba and P. uncinata was higher during summer at plots located in the forest understory whereas, during winter, it was higher at plots located in gaps. The study shows that both mesohabitat and microhabitat can exert an effect on the patterns of plant damage by herbivores, providing useful information to adapt forest management in areas particularly exposed to them. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Llegeix més

Modelling the effect of climate-induced changes in recruitment and juvenile growth on mixed-forest dynamics: The case of montane-subalpine Pyrenean ecotones

Ameztegui A., Coll L., Messier C. (2015) Modelling the effect of climate-induced changes in recruitment and juvenile growth on mixed-forest dynamics: The case of montane-subalpine Pyrenean ecotones. Ecological Modelling. 313: 84-93.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2015.06.029

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Most predictive models forecast significant upward displacement of forest species due to increases in temperatures, but not all the species respond in the same way to changes in climate. In temperate or mountain systems, biotic competitive interactions drive species distributions, and responses to climate change will ultimately depend upon productive and demographic processes such as growth, recruitment and mortality. We parameterized and used an individual-based, spatially explicit model of forest dynamics (SORTIE-ND) to investigate the role of species-specific differences in juvenile performance induced by climate change (juvenile growth and recruitment ability) in the dynamics of mixed forests located in the montane-subalpine ecotone of the Pyrenees. We assessed this role for two types of forests composed of three species with differing light requirements and sensitivity to climate change: (1) a mixed forest with two shade-intolerant pines (Pinus uncinata and Pinus sylvestris) and (2) a mixed forest composed by a shade-intolerant pine and a shade-tolerant fir (Abies alba). Our results show that for species with similar light requirements (i.e., both pines), small differences in sapling growth response to climate change can lead to significant differences in future species composition (an increase in P. sylvestris growth of 10% leads to an increase in its abundance from 42% to 50.3%). Conversely, in pine-fir forests, shade-tolerance results more decisive than climate-induced changes in growth in driving the future forest composition. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Llegeix més

Coupling a water balance model with forest inventory data to predict drought stress: The role of forest structural changes vs. climate changes

Caceres M.D., Martinez-Vilalta J., Coll L., Llorens P., Casals P., Poyatos R., Pausas J.G., Brotons L. (2015) Coupling a water balance model with forest inventory data to predict drought stress: The role of forest structural changes vs. climate changes. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 213: 77-90.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2015.06.012

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Mechanistic water balance models can be used to predict soil moisture dynamics and drought stress in individual forest stands. Predicting current and future levels of plant drought stress is important not only at the local scale, but also at larger, landscape to regional, scales, because these are the management scales at which adaptation and mitigation strategies are implemented. To obtain reliable predictions of soil moisture and plant drought stress over large extents, water balance models need to be complemented with detailed information about the spatial variation of vegetation and soil attributes. We designed, calibrated and validated a water balance model that produces annual estimates of drought intensity and duration for all plant cohorts in a forest stand. Taking Catalonia (NE Spain) as a case study, we coupled this model with plot records from two Spanish forest inventories in which species identity, diameter and height of plant cohorts were available. Leaf area index of each plant cohort was estimated from basal area using species-specific relationships. Vertical root distribution for each species in each forest plot was estimated by determining the distribution that maximized transpiration in the model, given average climatic conditions, soil attributes and stand density. We determined recent trends (period 1980-2010) in drought stress for the main tree species in Catalonia; where forest growth and densification occurs in many areas as a result of rural abandonment and decrease of forest management. Regional increases in drought stress were detected for most tree species, although we found high variation in stress changes among individual forest plots. Moreover, predicted trends in tree drought stress were mainly due to changes in leaf area occurred between the two forest inventories rather than to climatic trends. We conclude that forest structure needs to be explicitly considered in assessments of plant drought stress patterns and trends over large geographic areas, and that forest inventories are useful sources of data provided that reasonably good estimates of soil attributes and root distribution are available. Our approach coupled with recent improvements in forest survey technologies may allow obtaining spatially continuous and precise assessments of drought stress. Further efforts are needed to calibrate drought-related demographic processes before water balance and drought stress estimates can be fully used for the accurate prediction of drought impacts. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Llegeix més

Different factors for different causes: Analysis of the spatial aggregations of fire ignitions in catalonia (Spain)

Gonzalez-Olabarria J.R., Mola-Yudego B., Coll L. (2015) Different factors for different causes: Analysis of the spatial aggregations of fire ignitions in catalonia (Spain). Risk Analysis. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1111/risa.12339

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The present study analyzes the effects of different socioeconomic factors on the frequency of fire ignition occurrence, according to different original causes. The data include a set of documented ignition points in the region of Catalonia for the period 1995-2008. The analysis focused on the spatial aggregation patterns of the ignitions for each specific ignition cause. The point-based data on ignitions were interpolated into municipality-level information using kernel methods as the basis for defining five ignition density levels. Afterwards, the combination of socioeconomic factors influencing the ignition density levels of the municipalities was analyzed for each documented cause of ignition using a principal component analysis. The obtained results confirmed the idea that both the spatial aggregation patterns of fire ignitions and the factors defining their occurrence were specific for each of the causes of ignition. Intentional fires and those of unknown origin were found to have similar spatial aggregation patterns, and the presence of high ignition density areas was related to high population and high unemployment rates. Additionally, it was found that fires originated from forest work, agricultural activities, pasture burning, and lightning had a very specific behavior on their own, differing from the similarities found on the spatial aggregation of ignitions originated from smokers, electric lines, machinery, campfires, and those of intentional or unknown origin. © 2015 Society for Risk Analysis.

Llegeix més

Combining aerial LiDAR and multispectral imagery to assess postfire regeneration types in a Mediterranean forest

Martin-Alcon S., Coll L., De Caceres M., Guitart L., Cabre M., Just A., Gonzalez-Olabarria J.R. (2015) Combining aerial LiDAR and multispectral imagery to assess postfire regeneration types in a Mediterranean forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 45: 856-866.
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Doi: 10.1139/cjfr-2014-0430

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Wildfires play a major role in driving vegetation changes and can cause important environmental and economic losses in Mediterranean forests, especially where the dominant species lacks efficient postfire regeneration mechanisms. In these areas, postdisturbance vegetation management strategies need to be based on detailed, spatially continuous inventories of the burned area. Here, we present a methodology in which we combine airborne LiDAR and multispectral imagery to assess postfire regeneration types in a spatially continuous way, using a Mediterranean black pine (Pinus nigra Arn ssp. salzmannii) forest that burned in 1998 as a case study. Five postfire regeneration types were obtained by clustering field-plot data using Ward's method. Two of the five regeneration types presented high tree cover (one clearly dominated by hardwoods and the other dominated by pines), a third type presented low to moderate tree cover, being dominated by hardwoods, and the remaining two types matched to areas dominated by soil–herbaceous or shrub layers with very low or no tree cover (i.e., very low to no tree species regeneration). These five types of regeneration were used to conduct a supervised classification of remote sensing data using a nonparametric supervised classification technique. Compared with independent field validation points, the remote sensing based assessment method resulted in a global classification accuracy of 82.7%. Proportions of regeneration types in the study area indicated a general shift from the former pine-dominated forest toward hardwood dominance and showed no serious problems of regeneration failure. Our methodological approach appears to be appropriate for informing postdisturbance vegetation management strategies over large areas. © 2015, (publisher). All Rights Reserved.

Llegeix més

Stand-level drivers of tree-species diversification in Mediterranean pine forests after abandonment of traditional practices

Martin-Alcon S., Coll L., Salekin S. (2015) Stand-level drivers of tree-species diversification in Mediterranean pine forests after abandonment of traditional practices. Forest Ecology and Management. 353: 107-117.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2015.05.022

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The progressive abandonment of traditional forest management over the last few decades has led to significant densification processes in most Mediterranean pine stands. In parallel, some of these stands have also shown tree-species diversification processes, the occurrence of which is considered essential for future adaptability and resilience to change. Here we aim to gain further understanding of the main factors driving these diversification processes via a case-study approach using the long-term-managed black pine (Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii) forests of the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees (NE Spain). For this purpose, we sampled 155 plots distributed in 8 different stands and analyzed the role played by a number of microsite factors and stand attributes (including canopy openness and heterogeneity) on the abundance of seedlings (h1.3m; dbh

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