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.
Enlace
Doi: 10.3390/f8120463

Resumen:

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.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2017.05.012

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Topsoil depth substantially influences the responses to drought of the foliar metabolomes of Mediterranean forests

Rivas-Ubach A., Barbeta A., Sardans J., Guenther A., Ogaya R., Oravec M., Urban O., Peñuelas J. (2016) Topsoil depth substantially influences the responses to drought of the foliar metabolomes of Mediterranean forests. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 21: 41-54.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.ppees.2016.06.001

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The upper soil provides support, water, and nutrients to terrestrial plants and is therefore crucial for forest dynamics. We hypothesised that a tree's metabolic activity (and therefore its metabolome; the total set of metabolites) would be affected by both the depth of upper soil layers and water availability. We sampled leaves for stoichiometric and metabolomic analyses once per season from differently sized Quercus ilex trees under natural and experimental drought conditions representing the likely conditions in the coming decades). Although the metabolomes varied according to tree size, smaller trees did not show higher concentrations of biomarker metabolites related to drought stress. However, the effect of the drought treatment on the metabolomes was greatest for small trees growing in shallow soils. Our results suggest that tree size is more dependent on the depth of the upper soil, which indirectly affects a tree's metabolome, rather than on the moisture content in the upper soil. Metabolomic profiling of Q. ilex supports our finding that water availability in the upper soil is not necessarily correlated with tree size. The higher impact of drought on trees growing in shallower soils nevertheless indicates that any increase in the frequency, intensity, and duration of drought - as has been projected for the Mediterranean Basin and other areas - would affect small trees most. Metabolomics has proved to be a useful means for investigating the links between plant metabolism and environmental conditions. © 2016.

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Strong functional stability of soil microbial communities under semiarid Mediterranean conditions and subjected to long-term shifts in baseline precipitation

Curiel Yuste J., Fernandez-Gonzalez A.J., Fernandez-Lopez M., Ogaya R., Penuelas J., Sardans J., Lloret F. (2014) Strong functional stability of soil microbial communities under semiarid Mediterranean conditions and subjected to long-term shifts in baseline precipitation. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 69: 223-233.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.10.045

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We investigated the effect of soil microclimate on the structure and functioning of soil microbial communities in a Mediterranean Holm-oak forest subjected to 10 years of partial rain exclusion manipulations, simulating average drought conditions expected in Mediterranean areas for the following decades. We applied a high throughput DNA pyrosequencing technique coupled to parallel measurements of microbial respiration (RH) and temperature sensitivity of microbial respiration (Q10). Some consistent changes in the structure of bacterial communities suggest a slow process of community shifts parallel to the trend towards oligotrophy in response to long-term droughts. However, the structure of bacterial communities was mainly determined by short-term environmental fluctuations associated with sampling date (winter, spring and summer) rather than long-term (10 years) shifts in baseline precipitation. Moreover, long-term drought did not exert any chronic effect on the functioning of soil microbial communities (RH and Q10), emphasizing the functional stability of these communities to this long-term but mild shifts in water availability. We hypothesize that the particular conditions of the Mediterranean climate with strong seasonal shifts in both temperature and soil water availability but also characterized by very extreme environmental conditions during summer, was acting as a strong force in community assembling, selecting phenotypes adapted to the semiarid conditions characterizing Mediterranean ecosystems. Relations of climate with the phylogenetic structure and overall diversity of the communities as well as the distribution of the individual responses of different lineages (genera) to climate confirmed our hypotheses, evidencing communities dominated by thermotolerant and drought-tolerant phenotypes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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A tethered-balloon PTRMS sampling approach for surveying of landscape-scale biogenic VOC fluxes

Greenberg J.P., Penuelas J., Guenther A., Seco R., Turnipseed A., Jiang X., Filella I., Estiarte M., Sardans J., Ogaya R., Llusia J., Rapparini F. (2014) A tethered-balloon PTRMS sampling approach for surveying of landscape-scale biogenic VOC fluxes. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 7: 2263-2271.
Enlace
Doi: 10.5194/amt-7-2263-2014

Resumen:

Landscape-scale fluxes of biogenic gases were surveyed by deploying a 100 m Teflon tube attached to a tethered balloon as a sampling inlet for a fast-response proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer (PTRMS). Along with meteorological instruments deployed on the tethered balloon and a 3 m tripod and outputs from a regional weather model, these observations were used to estimate landscape-scale biogenic volatile organic compound fluxes with two micrometeorological techniques: mixed layer variance and surface layer gradients. This highly mobile sampling system was deployed at four field sites near Barcelona to estimate landscape-scale biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emission factors in a relatively short period (3 weeks). The two micrometeorological techniques were compared with emissions predicted with a biogenic emission model using site-specific emission factors and land-cover characteristics for all four sites. The methods agreed within the uncertainty of the techniques in most cases, even though the locations had considerable heterogeneity in species distribution and complex terrain. Considering the wide range in reported BVOC emission factors for individual vegetation species (more than an order of magnitude), this temporally short and inexpensive flux estimation technique may be useful for constraining BVOC emission factors used as model inputs. © 2014 Author(s).

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Physiological and antioxidant responses of Quercus ilex to drought in two different seasons

Nogues I., Llusia J., Ogaya R., Munne-Bosch S., Sardans J., Penuelas J., Loreto F. (2014) Physiological and antioxidant responses of Quercus ilex to drought in two different seasons. Plant Biosystems. 148: 268-278.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1080/11263504.2013.768557

Resumen:

Climate change projections forecast a warming and an associated change in the distribution and intensity of rainfalls. In the case of the Mediterranean area, this will be reflected in more frequent and severe drought periods in the future. Within a long-term (9 years) manipulation experiment, we aimed to study the effect of the soil drought projected for the coming decades (an average of 10% soil moisture reduction) onto photosynthetic rates and water relations, and onto the antioxidant and anti-stress defense capacity of Quercus ilex, a dominant species in Mediterranean forests, in two different seasons, spring and summer. Results showed that photosynthesis was limited by stomatal closure in summer. However, a decrease in photosynthesis as a consequence of drought was observed only during spring, possibly due to a low pigment concentration and to an insufficient antioxidant protection. In summer, the increased resistance to CO2 entry reduced photosynthesis in control and drought-treated leaves, though the higher pigment content and antioxidant levels in summer leaves prevented a further decrease in photosynthesis as a consequence of drought. Also total monoterpene emission rates were higher in summer than in spring, though they did not change with drought, as happened with photosynthetic pigments. On the other hand, the antioxidant defense system was induced by drought in both studied seasons, indicating an efficient activation of defense responses aiming at scavenging reactive oxygen species produced in Q. ilex leaves under drought. © 2013 © 2013 Società Botanica Italiana.

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Drought enhances folivory by shifting foliar metabolomes in Quercus ilex trees

Rivas-Ubach A., Gargallo-Garriga A., Sardans J., Oravec M., Mateu-Castell L., Perez-Trujillo M., Parella T., Ogaya R., Urban O., Penuelas J. (2014) Drought enhances folivory by shifting foliar metabolomes in Quercus ilex trees. New Phytologist. 202: 874-885.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1111/nph.12687

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At the molecular level, folivory activity on plants has mainly been related to the foliar concentrations of nitrogen (N) and/or particular metabolites. We studied the responses of different nutrients and the whole metabolome of Quercus ilex to seasonal changes and to moderate field experimental conditions of drought, and how this drought may affect folivory activity, using stoichiometric and metabolomic techniques. Foliar potassium (K) concentrations increased in summer and consequently led to higher foliar K: phosphorus (P) and lower carbon (C): K and N: K ratios. Foliar N: P ratios were not lowest in spring as expected by the growth rate hypothesis. Trees exposed to moderate drought presented higher concentrations of total sugars and phenolics and these trees also experienced more severe folivory attack. The foliar increases in K, sugars and antioxidant concentrations in summer, the driest Mediterranean season, indicated enhanced osmoprotection under natural drought conditions. Trees under moderate drought also presented higher concentrations of sugars and phenolics; a plant response to avoid water loss. These shifts in metabolism produced an indirect relationship between increased drought and folivory activity. © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

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Intensive measurements of gas, water, and energy exchange between vegetation and troposphere during the MONTES campaign in a vegetation gradient from short semi-desertic shrublands to tall wet temperate forests in the NW Mediterranean Basin

Penuelas J., Guenther A., Rapparini F., Llusia J., Filella I., Seco R., Estiarte M., Mejia-Chang M., Ogaya R., Ibanez J., Sardans J., Castano L.M., Turnipseed A., Duhl T., Harley P., Vila J., Estavillo J.M., Menendez S., Facini O., Baraldi R., Geron C., Mak J., Patton E.G., Jiang X., Greenberg J. (2013) Intensive measurements of gas, water, and energy exchange between vegetation and troposphere during the MONTES campaign in a vegetation gradient from short semi-desertic shrublands to tall wet temperate forests in the NW Mediterranean Basin. Atmospheric Environment. 75: 348-364.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.04.032

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MONTES ("Woodlands") was a multidisciplinary international field campaign aimed at measuring energy, water and especially gas exchange between vegetation and atmosphere in a gradient from short semi-desertic shrublands to tall wet temperate forests in NE Spain in the North Western Mediterranean Basin (WMB). The measurements were performed at a semidesertic area (Monegros), at a coastal Mediterranean shrubland area (Garraf), at a typical Mediterranean holm oak forest area (Prades) and at a wet temperate beech forest (Montseny) during spring (April 2010) under optimal plant physiological conditions in driest-warmest sites and during summer (July 2010) with drought and heat stresses in the driest-warmest sites and optimal conditions in the wettest-coolest site. The objective of this campaign was to study the differences in gas, water and energy exchange occurring at different vegetation coverages and biomasses. Particular attention was devoted to quantitatively understand the exchange of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) because of their biological and environmental effects in the WMB. A wide range of instruments (GC-MS, PTR-MS, meteorological sensors, O3 monitors,. .) and vertical platforms such as masts, tethered balloons and aircraft were used to characterize the gas, water and energy exchange at increasing footprint areas by measuring vertical profiles. In this paper we provide an overview of the MONTES campaign: the objectives, the characterization of the biomass and gas, water and energy exchange in the 4 sites-areas using satellite data, the estimation of isoprene and monoterpene emissions using MEGAN model, the measurements performed and the first results. The isoprene and monoterpene emission rates estimated with MEGAN and emission factors measured at the foliar level for the dominant species ranged from about 0 to 0.2mgm-2h-1 in April. The warmer temperature in July resulted in higher model estimates from about 0 to ca. 1.6mgm-2h-1 for isoprene and ca. 4.5mgm-2h-1 for monoterpenes, depending on the site vegetation and footprint area considered. There were clear daily and seasonal patterns with higher emission rates and mixing ratios at midday and summer relative to early morning and early spring. There was a significant trend in CO2 fixation (from 1 to 10mgCm-2d-1), transpiration (from1-5kgCm-2d-1), and sensible and latent heat from the warmest-driest to the coolest-wettest site. The results showed the strong land-cover-specific influence on emissions of BVOCs, gas, energy and water exchange, and therefore demonstrate the potential for feed-back to atmospheric chemistry and climate. •We present a multidisciplinary biosphere-atmosphere field campaign.•We measured a gradient from semi-desertic shrublands to wet temperate forests.•A wide range of instruments and vertical platforms were used.•Land cover strongly influenced emissions of BVOCs and gas, energy and water exchange.•Vegetation has strong potential for feed-back to atmospheric chemistry and climate. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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Evidence of current impact of climate change on life: A walk from genes to the biosphere

Penuelas J., Sardans J., Estiarte M., Ogaya R., Carnicer J., Coll M., Barbeta A., Rivas-Ubach A., Llusia J., Garbulsky M., Filella I., Jump A.S. (2013) Evidence of current impact of climate change on life: A walk from genes to the biosphere. Global Change Biology. 19: 2303-2338.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1111/gcb.12143

Resumen:

We review the evidence of how organisms and populations are currently responding to climate change through phenotypic plasticity, genotypic evolution, changes in distribution and, in some cases, local extinction. Organisms alter their gene expression and metabolism to increase the concentrations of several antistress compounds and to change their physiology, phenology, growth and reproduction in response to climate change. Rapid adaptation and microevolution occur at the population level. Together with these phenotypic and genotypic adaptations, the movement of organisms and the turnover of populations can lead to migration toward habitats with better conditions unless hindered by barriers. Both migration and local extinction of populations have occurred. However, many unknowns for all these processes remain. The roles of phenotypic plasticity and genotypic evolution and their possible trade-offs and links with population structure warrant further research. The application of omic techniques to ecological studies will greatly favor this research. It remains poorly understood how climate change will result in asymmetrical responses of species and how it will interact with other increasing global impacts, such as N eutrophication, changes in environmental N : P ratios and species invasion, among many others. The biogeochemical and biophysical feedbacks on climate of all these changes in vegetation are also poorly understood. We here review the evidence of responses to climate change and discuss the perspectives for increasing our knowledge of the interactions between climate change and life. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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Field-simulated droughts affect elemental leaf stoichiometry in Mediterranean forests and shrublands

Sardans J., Rivas-Ubach A., Estiarte M., Ogaya R., Penuelas J. (2013) Field-simulated droughts affect elemental leaf stoichiometry in Mediterranean forests and shrublands. Acta Oecologica. 50: 20-31.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.actao.2013.04.002

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This study evaluated the change induced by the year season and by experimentally induced drought on foliar element stoichiometry of the predominant woody species (. Quercus ilex and Erica multiflora) in two Mediterranean ecosystems, a forest and a shrubland. This study is based in two long-term (11yr) field experiments that simulated drought throughout the annual cycle.The effects of experimental droughts were significant but weaker than the changes produced by ontogeny and seasonality. Leaf N and P concentrations were higher in spring (the main growing season) in E. multiflora and, in Q.ilex in autumn (a period of additional growth). Leaf N:P ratios were lower in spring. In Q.ilex, the highest leaf K concentrations and leaf K:P ratios, and the lowest leaf C:K and N:K ratios, occurred in summer, the season when water stress was greatest. In E.multiflora, leaf K concentrations and K:P ratios were highest, and leaf C:K and N:K ratios were lowest in the plants from the drought-treated plots.The plant capacity to change K concentrations in response to seasonality and to drought is at least as great as the capacity to change N and P concentrations. The results underscore the importance of K and its stoichiometry relative to C, N and P in dry environments. These results indicate first, that N:P ratio shifts are not uniquely related to growth rate in Mediterranean plants but also to drought, and second, that there is a need to take into account K in ecological stoichiometry studies of terrestrial plants. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.

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