Deuterium labelling of roots provides evidence of deep water access and hydraulic lift by Pinus nigra in a Mediterranean forest of NE Spain

Peñuelas J., Filella I. (2003) Deuterium labelling of roots provides evidence of deep water access and hydraulic lift by Pinus nigra in a Mediterranean forest of NE Spain. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 49: 201-208.
Enllaç
Doi: 10.1016/S0098-8472(02)00070-9

Resum:

We studied the tree access to deep water sources and the possibility of hydraulic lift from the deep roots of a Pinus nigra tree to the shallow soil layers in a Mediterranean forest of NE Spain. We also studied the use of hydraulically lifted water by neighboring trees, shrubs, and sprouts. We enriched the roots of a large P. nigra (10 m tall) with deuterium by accessing them from a below ground cave. During the next 3 days we measured stable deuterium isotopic composition of xylem sap, shoot predawn and midday water potentials, and the leaf δ13C and δ15N of the P. nigra tree, neighboring Quercus ilex ballota trees and sprouts, and Juniperus oxycedrus shrubs. The study was conducted both in dry summer and in wet spring. In summer, deuterated water absorbed by deep roots of P. nigra appeared in the stem water of neighboring plants and in surface soil. The most δD-enriched plant xylem sap was found in the enriched P. nigra tree, followed by the Q. ilex sprouts, the small Q. ilex trees and the surface soil (15 cm). All these trends disappeared in the wet spring season, when HDO only slightly appeared in the surface soil. The results show that the studied P. nigra tree accesses deep water source and conducts hydraulic lift in this Mediterranean forest in dry summer but not necessarily in wet spring. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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BVOCs: Plant defense against climate warming?

Peñuelas J., Llusià J. (2003) BVOCs: Plant defense against climate warming?. Trends in Plant Science. 8: 105-109.
Enllaç
Doi: 10.1016/S1360-1385(03)00008-6

Resum:

Plants emit a substantial amount of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) into the atmosphere. These BVOCs represent a large carbon loss and can be up to ∼10% of that fixed by photosynthesis under stressful conditions and up to 100 g C m-2 per year in some tropical ecosystems. Among a variety of proven and unproven BVOC functions in plants and roles in atmospheric processes, recent data intriguingly link emission of these compounds to climate. Ongoing research demonstrates that BVOCs could protect plants against high temperatures. BVOC emissions are probably increasing with warming and with other factors associated to global change, including changes in land cover. These increases in BVOC emissions could contribute in a significant way (via negative and positive feedback) to the complex processes associated with global warming.

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Biomonitoring of tropospheric ozone phytotoxicity in rural Catalonia

Ribas A., Peñuelas J. (2003) Biomonitoring of tropospheric ozone phytotoxicity in rural Catalonia. Atmospheric Environment. 37: 63-71.
Enllaç
Doi: 10.1016/S1352-2310(02)00696-9

Resum:

The ozone (O3) phytotoxicity in rural areas of Catalonia (NE Spain) and the biomonitoring capacity of Bel-W3 tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) cultivars were assessed by determining the percentage of leaf area injured by ozone in plants of this cultivar exposed from spring to autumn since 1995-1999. The study was conducted simultaneously on nine field sites where ground level ozone concentrations and meteorological parameters were continuously monitored. Geographical, seasonal and annual variations of ozone damage rate and their links with meteorological conditions were studied. Ozone concentrations and leaf damage increased at the end of spring and the beginning of summer. Coastal sites generally presented higher O3 concentrations than inland and mountain sites. These mountain sites were the most sensitive ones to ozone toxicity. The ozone concentrations correlated well with ozone injury. However, at this local scale the ozone levels did not fully account for all the observed injury (only 11%). The response of tobacco plants to ozone concentrations and therefore its biomonitoring capacity depended also on different environmental conditions, mainly those linked to stomatal behaviour such as vapour pressure deficit. The categorization of leaf damage in 10% intervals and its averaging throughout the whole study period and the whole region, strongly improved (99% of variance accounted) the relationship with ozone concentrations expressed as AOT20 (accumulated over a cut-off of 20ppbv). N. tabacum cultivar Bel-W3 is thus a very good biomonitor of ozone concentrations in the long term at the regional scale. Taking into account the phytotoxical response of this sensitive tobacco cultivar, we propose the 1.28ppmvh biweekly AOT40 (with a solar radiation threshold of 50Wm-2) as a damage threshold level for sensitive species. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Effects of climatic change on the phenology of butterflies in the northwest Mediterranean Basin

Stefanescu C., Penuelas J., Filella I. (2003) Effects of climatic change on the phenology of butterflies in the northwest Mediterranean Basin. Global Change Biology. 9: 1494-1506.
Enllaç
Doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2486.2003.00682.x

Resum:

Phenological changes in response to climatic warming have been detected across a wide range of organisms. Butterflies stand out as one of the most popular groups of indicators of climatic change, given that, firstly, they are poikilothermic and, secondly, have been the subject of thorough monitoring programmes in several countries for a number of decades. Here we provide for the first time strong evidence of phenological change as a consequence of recent climatic warming in butterflies at a Spanish site in the northwest Mediterranean Basin. By means of the widely used Butterfly Monitoring Scheme methodology, three different phenological parameters were analysed for the most common species to test for trends over time and relationships with temperature and precipitation. Between 1988 and 2002, there was a tendency for earlier first appearance dates in all 17 butterfly species tested, and significant advances in mean flight dates in 8 out of 19 species. On the other hand, the shape of the curve of adult emergence did not show any regular pattern. These changes paralleled an increase of 1-1.5°C in mean February, March and June temperatures. Likewise, a correlation analysis indicated the strong negative effect of spring temperature on phenological parameters (i.e. higher temperatures tended to produce phenological advances), and the opposite effect of precipitation in certain months. In addition, there was some evidence to indicate that phenological responses may differ between taxonomic lineages or species with similar diets. We discuss the consequences that these changes may have on species' population abundances, especially given the expected increase in aridity in the Mediterranean Basin caused by current climatic warming. We predict that varying degrees of phenological flexibility may account for differences in species' responses and, for multivoltine species, predict strong selection favouring local seasonal adaptations such as diapause phenomena or migratory behaviour.

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