Alvarez A, Gracia M, Vayreda J, Retana J (2011) Patterns of fuel types and crown fire potential in Pinus halepensis forests in the Western Mediterranean Basin. Forest Ecology and Management doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2011.01.039.
Vayreda J, Martínez-Vilalta J, Gracia M, Retana J (2011) Forest structure and management interact with recent changes in climate to determine the current forest carbon stock in Peninsular Spain. Global Change Biology doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02606.x.
Otero I., Boada M., Badia A., Pla E., Vayreda J., Sabaté S., Gracia C.A., Peñuelas J. (2011) Loss of water availability and stream biodiversity under land abandonment and climate change in a Mediterranean catchment (Olzinelles, NE Spain). Land Use Policy. 28: 207-218.EnllaçDoi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2010.06.002
In the north rim of the Mediterranean region, where forest cover is increasing as a result of land abandonment and temperatures are rising as a result of climate change, there is increasing interest for the effects of such changes on the runoff of water courses. This is a paramount issue for the conservation of many freshwater habitats and species. In this work we studied the effects of both an increase in forest cover after depopulation and land abandonment and an increase in temperature on the runoff of a Mediterranean catchment and on the aquatic and semi-aquatic fauna species of the stream (Olzinelles valley, NE Spain). Although in our simulation no decreasing trend in runoff is detected, the monthly runoff-rainfall ratio is now 15% lower than 30 years ago, a fact that may be attributed to a drier period rather than to the small afforestation experienced by the catchment in the last decades. Other factors such as increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and increasing canopy cover are discussed. The observed decrease in the water flow has caused the disappearance of white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), Mediterranean barbel (Barbus meridionalis), chub (Squalius cephalus), European eel (Anguilla anguilla), and southern water vole (Arvicola sapidus). Our results suggest that in a progressively warmer climate, and especially after land abandonment processes, management of Mediterranean mountain areas should be oriented towards an appropriate distribution of agrarian and forest land-covers in terms of water availability. Down to the stream scale, the pools that keep water throughout the year should be conserved and extended to enhance its potential to maintain aquatic and semi-aquatic species populations. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Vila-Cabrera A., Martinez-Vilalta J., Vayreda J., Retana J. (2011) Structural and climatic determinants of demographic rates of Scots pine forests across the Iberian Peninsula. Ecological Applications. 21: 1162-1172.EnllaçDoi: 10.1890/10-0647.1
The demographic rates of tree species typically show large spatial variation across their range. Understanding the environmental factors underlying this variation is a key topic in forest ecology, with far-reaching management implications. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) covers large areas of the Northern Hemisphere, the Iberian Peninsula being its southwestern distribution limit. In recent decades, an increase in severe droughts and a densification of forests as a result of changes in forest uses have occurred in this region. Our aim was to use climate and stand structure data to explain mortality and growth patterns of Scots pine forests across the Iberian Peninsula. We used data from 2392 plots dominated by Scots pine, sampled for the National Forest Inventory of Spain. Plots were sampled from 1986 to 1996 (IFN2) and were resampled from 1997 to 2007 (IFN3), allowing for the calculation of growth and mortality rates. We fitted linear models to assess the response of growth and mortality rates to the spatial variability of climate, climatic anomalies, and forest structure. Over the period of;10 years between the IFN2 and IFN3, the amount of standing dead trees increased 11-fold. Higher mortality rates were related to dryness, and growth was reduced with increasing dryness and temperature, but results also suggested that effects of climatic stressors were not restricted to dry sites only. Forest structure was strongly related to demographic rates, suggesting that stand development and competition are the main factors associated with demography. In the case of mortality, forest structure interacted with climate, suggesting that competition for water resources induces tree mortality in dry sites. A slight negative relationship was found between mortality and growth, indicating that both rates are likely to be affected by the same stress factors. Additionally, regeneration tended to be lower in plots with higher mortality. Taken together, our results suggest a large-scale self-thinning related to the recent densification of Scots pine forests. This process appears to be enhanced by dry conditions and may lead to a mismatch in forest turnover. Forest management may be an essential adaptive tool under the drier conditions predicted by most climate models. © 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.
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