Visible ozone-like injury, defoliation, and mortality in two Pinus uncinata stands in the Catalan Pyrenees (NE Spain)

Diaz-de-Quijano M., Kefauver S., Ogaya R., Vollenweider P., Ribas À., Peñuelas J. (2016) Visible ozone-like injury, defoliation, and mortality in two Pinus uncinata stands in the Catalan Pyrenees (NE Spain). European Journal of Forest Research. 135: 687-696.
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Doi: 10.1007/s10342-016-0964-9

Resum:

Ozone concentrations in the Pyrenees have exceeded the thresholds for forest protection since 1994. We surveyed the severity of visible O3 injuries, crown defoliation, and tree mortality of Pinus uncinata, the dominant species in subalpine forests in this mountain range, along two altitudinal and O3 gradients in the central Catalan Pyrenees and analysed their relationships with the local environmental conditions. The severity of visible O3 injuries increased with increasing mean annual [O3] when summer water availability was high (summer precipitation/potential evapotranspiration above 0.96), whereas higher [O3] did not produce more visible injuries during drier conditions. Mean crown defoliation and tree mortality ranged between 20.4–66.4 and 0.6–29.6 %, respectively, depending on the site. Both were positively correlated with the accumulated O3 exposure during the last 5 years and with variables associated with soil–water availability, which favours greater O3 uptake by increasing stomatal conductance. The results indicate that O3 contributed to the crown defoliation and tree mortality, although further research is clearly warranted to determine the contributions of the multiple stress factors to crown defoliation and mortality in P. uncinata stands in the Catalan Pyrenees. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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Using Pinus uncinata to monitor tropospheric ozone in the Pyrenees

Kefauver S.C., Penuelas J., Ribas A., Diaz-De-Quijano M., Ustin S. (2014) Using Pinus uncinata to monitor tropospheric ozone in the Pyrenees. Ecological Indicators. 36: 262-271.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.07.024

Resum:

Field metrics were investigated using the conifer species Pinus uncinata for the biomonitoring of tropospheric ozone in the Pyrenees of Catalonia, Spain. The Ozone Injury Index (OII) was investigated piecewise for improvement as a biomonitoring field metric for using sensitive conifer species to monitor tropospheric ozone across variable environmental conditions. The OII employs a weighted average of visual chlorotic mottling (VI), needle whorl retention (RET), needle length (LGT), and crown death (CD). Of note, VI includes subcomponents VI-Amount (% of symptomatic needles) and VI-Severity (% of chlorotic mottling on symptomatic needles) and RET includes the FWHORL subcomponent (average fraction of needles retained per whorl). All components and subcomponents of the OII correlated better to multiple year ozone exposure compared to single year ozone exposure measurements. VI-Severity and FWHORL modeled over half the variability of the three year average of ambient ozone concentrations (P < 0.0001, R2 = 0.53, RMSE = 2.73). Combining the biomonitoring metrics with GIS models related to landscape-scale variability in plant water relations resulted in considerable improvement in the ozone exposure model explanatory power (P < 0.0001, R2 = 0.90, RMSE = 1.35) including the parameters VI-Amount, VI-Severity, elevation, slope and topographic curvature. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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