Geographical patterns of congruence and incongruence between correlative species distribution models and a process-based ecophysiological growth model

Serra-Diaz J.M., Keenan T.F., Ninyerola M., Sabate S., Gracia C., Lloret F. (2013) Geographical patterns of congruence and incongruence between correlative species distribution models and a process-based ecophysiological growth model. Journal of Biogeography. 40: 1928-1938.
Link
Doi: 10.1111/jbi.12142

Abstract:

Aim: Our aim was to map the climate dependence of tree species distributions (probability of occurrence) and forest growth (net primary productivity) by comparing the congruence and incongruence between correlative and process-based modelling approaches. Location: Iberian Peninsula, south-western Europe. Methods: We used forest inventory data for three widespread tree species (Quercus ilex, Pinus halepensis and Pinus sylvestris) to model climatic suitability with an ensemble of seven correlative species distribution models (using biomod). We then simulated forest net primary productivity (NPP) as a surrogate of forest growth for forests of each species using an ecophysiological process-based model (gotilwa+) along a gradient of climatic suitability. The spatial distribution of the growth estimates was then compared with that of the suitability estimates, and robust regression was used to classify regions in terms of model congruence. Results: Quercus ilex and P. sylvestris both showed a positive relationship between forest NPP and climatic suitability. The main discrepancies were found in the north of the peninsula, where there was high potential forest growth but low climate suitability. Low forest-growth estimates in areas of high suitability only appeared for P. sylvestris in southern montane regions. Pinus halepensis always showed a negative relationship between estimated growth and climatic suitability. The analysis of other ecophysiological parameters (mean leaf life and leaf area index) suggests that this tree species has different physiological strategies that allow differential growth rates in areas of low suitability. Main conclusions: We found that the relationship between estimated growth and distribution varies strongly in different areas and species. Mapping the incongruences between the predicted climatic suitability and growth allowed us to identify regions where other factors (e.g. biotic interactions) may be more significant than the physiological limits on growth. We show that new insights into species distributions can be gained from mapping the differences between correlative and process-based models. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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Determinants of drought effects on crown condition and their relationship with depletion of carbon reserves in a Mediterranean holm oak forest

Galiano L., Martínez-Vilalta J., Sabaté S., Lloret F. (2012) Determinants of drought effects on crown condition and their relationship with depletion of carbon reserves in a Mediterranean holm oak forest. Tree Physiology. 32: 478-489.
Link
Doi: 10.1093/treephys/tps025

Abstract:

Severe droughts may increase physiological stress on long-lived woody vegetation, occasionally leading to rapid defoliation and progressive increase in mortality of overstorey trees. Over the last few years, episodes of drought-induced tree dieback have been documented in a variety of woodlands and forests around the world. However, the factors determining tree survival and subsequent recovery are still poorly understood, especially in resprouter species. We have studied the effects of a single drought episode on crown condition in a holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) forest located in NE Spain 7 years after the drought event. Generalized linear models were used to study the environmental correlates of forest crown condition 7 years after the drought event. Additionally, we evaluated the association between crown condition and the carbon and nutrient reserves stored in lignotubers 7 years after the drought. Our study reveals the multifactor nature of a drought-driven forest dieback in which soil depth and the characteristics of individual trees, particularly their number of stems, determined a complex spatial pattern of tree-level responses. This dieback was associated with a depletion of the carbon reserves in lignotubers 7 years after the episode, representing a reduction of up to 60 in highly drought-damaged trees. Interestingly, in the absence of new acute droughts, successive surveys in 2007-11 showed a direct association between carbon reserves depletion and further deterioration of crown condition. More frequent droughts, as predicted by climate change projections, may lead to a progressive depletion of carbon reserves and to a loss of resilience in Mediterranean resprouter species. © 2012 The Author.

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Predicting the future of forests in the Mediterranean under climate change, with niche- and process-based models: CO2 matters!

Keenan T., Maria Serra J., Lloret F., Ninyerola M., Sabate S. (2011) Predicting the future of forests in the Mediterranean under climate change, with niche- and process-based models: CO2 matters!. Global Change Biology. 17: 565-579.
Link
Doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02254.x

Abstract:

Assessing the potential future of current forest stands is a key to design conservation strategies and understanding potential future impacts to ecosystem service supplies. This is particularly true in the Mediterranean basin, where important future climatic changes are expected. Here, we assess and compare two commonly used modeling approaches (niche- and process-based models) to project the future of current stands of three forest species with contrasting distributions, using regionalized climate for continental Spain. Results highlight variability in model ability to estimate current distributions, and the inherent large uncertainty involved in making projections into the future. CO2 fertilization through projected increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations is shown to increase forest productivity in the mechanistic process-based model (despite increased drought stress) by up to three times that of the non-CO2 fertilization scenario by the period 2050-2080, which is in stark contrast to projections of reduced habitat suitability from the niche-based models by the same period. This highlights the importance of introducing aspects of plant biogeochemistry into current niche-based models for a realistic projection of future species distributions. We conclude that the future of current Mediterranean forest stands is highly uncertain and suggest that a new synergy between niche- and process-based models is urgently needed in order to improve our predictive ability. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Predicting the future of forests in the Mediterranean under climate change, with niche- and process-based models: CO2 matters!.

Keenan T, Serra J, Lloret F, Ninyerola M, Sabaté S (2010) Predicting the future of forests in the Mediterranean under climate change, with niche- and process-based models: CO2 matters!. Global Change Biology 17: 565-579. doi:10.1111/j.13652486.2010.02254.x.

Structure and dynamics of the root system.

Canadell J, Djema A, López B, Lloret F, Sabaté S, Siscart D, Gracia C (1999) Structure and dynamics of the root system. In Rodà F, Retana J, Gracia C, Bellot J (eds) Ecology of Mediterranean evergreen oak forests. Springer, Berlin, pp. 47-59.