Seasonal contrasting changes of foliar concentrations of terpenes and other volatile organic compound in four dominant species of a Mediterranean shrubland submitted to a field experimental drought and warming

Llusià J., Peñuelas J., Alessio G.A., Estiarte M. (2006) Seasonal contrasting changes of foliar concentrations of terpenes and other volatile organic compound in four dominant species of a Mediterranean shrubland submitted to a field experimental drought and warming. Physiologia Plantarum. 127: 632-649.
Link
Doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2006.00693.x

Abstract:

To test the effect of forecasted drought and warming conditions for the next decades by GCM and ecophysiological models on foliar concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and especially of volatile terpenes, we studied four typical Mediterranean woody plants (Pinus halepensis L., Pistacia lentiscus L., Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Globularia alypum L.) under a field experimental drought and warming generated using automatically sliding curtains. Terpenes were detected in the four studied species (R. officinalis L., P halepensis L., Pistacia lentiscus L. and G. alypum L.). In general, maximum concentrations of terpenes were found in the coldest periods and minimum concentrations in the summer. Their concentrations ranged between 0.003 mg g-1 DM (eugenol) in G. alypum under drought conditions and 37 mg g-1 DM in R. officinalis under control conditions. Main volatile terpenes found in all studied species except in G. alypum were α-pinene, camphene, β-pinene, β-phellandrene and caryophyllene. In general, VOC leaf concentrations increased when soil moisture increased and decreased when air temperature increased. However, contrasting not consistent responses to the drought and warming treatments were found among species, seasons and years. For example, in P. halepensis, the concentrations decreased in response to drought in winter and instead increased in summer. Contrarily, drought decreased concentrations in summer and increased them in winter in Pistacia lentiscus. In any case, the data on seasonal VOC concentration in Mediterranean woody species provided here will add new knowledge of seasonal variation in essential oil contents of these species. These data might help in the study of flammability of Mediterranean ecosystems and in improving prediction algorithms, inventories and modelling of monoterpene emissions in response to climate change, which mostly do not consider the changes in concentration under drought stress. However, the lack of general and consistent response patterns to increasing drought and warming among species, seasons and years found here makes this task difficult. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2006.

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Warming and drought alter soil phosphatase activity and soil P availability in a Mediterranean shrubland

Sardans J., Peñuelas J., Estiarte M. (2006) Warming and drought alter soil phosphatase activity and soil P availability in a Mediterranean shrubland. Plant and Soil. 289: 227-238.
Link
Doi: 10.1007/s11104-006-9131-2

Abstract:

We conducted a field experiment simulating the warming and drought in a Mediterranean shrubland dominated by Erica multiflora and Globularia alypum with the aim to simulate the next future climate conditions predicted by the IPCC and ecophysiological models. As P is frequently a limiting nutrient in Mediterranean ecosystems, we investigated the drought and warming effects on soil phosphatases activities, soil P contents and availability, litter and leaf P concentration, and the capacity of this community to maintain soil P reserves and retain this nutrient in the ecosystem. Warming treatment increased soil and air temperature (an average of 1°C) and drought treatment decreased soil water content in one of the seasons analysed (28% in autum 2004). Warming increased (68%) the activities of soil acid phosphatases in summer and alkaline phosphatase activity (22%) in spring 2004, and increased P concentrations in E. multiflora. Instead, warming decreased P concentrations in litterfall of this same species, E. multiflora, and soil HCO3-extractable Pi (Olsen-Pi) in some seasons, decreasing total P soil concentration (37%) after 6 years of treatment. The drought treatment did not change soil phosphatase activities, nor available Pi. The effects of climate change on soil P dynamics in Mediterranean areas will thus be strongly dependent on whether the main variable involved in the local change is warming or drought. If warming is the main change without significant changes in water availability, the increases of biological activity can accelerate plant growth, P capture by plants and increase soil-phosphatase activity, altogether decreasing P contents in soil. If drought is the main change, a reduction in P demands by plants is expected, increasing P stocks in soils. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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