Asensio D., Peñuelas J., Llusià J., Ogaya R., Filella I. (2007) Interannual and interseasonal soil CO2 efflux and VOC exchange rates in a Mediterranean holm oak forest in response to experimental drought. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 39: 2471-2484.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.04.019
Climate models predict drier conditions in the next decades in the Mediterranean basin. Given the importance of soil CO2 efflux in the global carbon balance and the important role of soil monoterpene and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in soil ecology, we aimed to study the effects of the predicted drought on soil CO2, monoterpenes and other VOC exchange rates and their seasonal and interannual variations. We decreased soil water availability in a Mediterranean holm oak forest soil by means of an experimental drought system performed since 1999 to the present. Measurements of soil gas exchange were carried out with IRGA, GC and PTR-MS techniques during two annual campaigns of contrasting precipitation. Soil respiration was twice higher the wet year than the dry year (2.27±0.26 and 1.05±0.15, respectively), and varied seasonally from 3.76±0.85 μmol m-2 s-1 in spring, to 0.13±0.01 μmol m-2 s-1 in summer. These results highlight the strong interannual and interseasonal variation in CO2 efflux in Mediterranean ecosystems. The drought treatment produced a significant soil respiration reduction in drought plots in the wet sampling period. This reduction was even higher in wet springs (43% average reduction). These results show (1) that soil moisture is the main factor driving seasonal and interannual variations in soil respiration and (2) that the response of soil respiration to increased temperature is constrained by soil moisture. The results also show an additional control of soil CO2 efflux by physiology and phenology of trees and animals. Soil monoterpene exchange rates ranged from -0.01 to 0.004 nmol m-2 s-1, thus the contribution of this Mediterranean holm oak forest soil to the total monoterpenes atmospheric budget seems to be very low. Responses of individual monoterpenes and VOCs to the drought treatment were different depending on the compound. This suggests that the effect of soil moisture reduction in the monoterpenes and VOC exchange rates seems to be dependent on monoterpene and VOC type. In general, soil monoterpene and other VOC exchange rates were not correlated with soil CO2 efflux. In all cases, only a low proportion of variance was explained by the soil moisture changes, since almost all VOCs increased their emission rates in summer 2005, probably due to the effect of high soil temperature. Results indicate thus that physical and biological processes in soil are controlling soil VOC exchange but further research is needed on how these factors interact to produce the observed VOCs exchange responses. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Asensio D., Peñuelas J., Ogaya R., Llusià J. (2007) Seasonal soil VOC exchange rates in a Mediterranean holm oak forest and their responses to drought conditions. Atmospheric Environment. 41: 2456-2466.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2006.05.007
Available information on soil volatile organic compound (VOC) exchange, emissions and uptake, is very scarce. We here describe the amounts and seasonality of soil VOC exchange during a year in a natural Mediterranean holm oak forest growing in Southern Catalonia. We investigated changes in soil VOC dynamics in drought conditions by decreasing the soil moisture to 30% of ambient conditions by artificially excluding rainfall and water runoff, and predicted the response of VOC exchange to the drought forecasted in the Mediterranean region for the next decades by GCM and ecophysiological models. The annual average of the total (detected) soil VOC and total monoterpene exchange rates were 3.2±3.2 and -0.4±0.3 μg m-2 h-1, respectively, in control plots. These values represent 0.003% of the total C emitted by soil at the study site as CO2 whereas the annual mean of soil monoterpene exchange represents 0.0004% of total C. Total soil VOC exchange rates in control plots showed seasonal variations following changes in soil moisture and phenology. Maximum values were found in spring (17±8 μg m-2 h-1). Although there was no significant global effect of drought treatment on the total soil VOC exchange rates, annual average of total VOC exchange rates in drought plots resulted in an uptake rate (-0.5±1.8 μg m-2 h-1) instead of positive net emission rates. Larger soil VOC and monoterpene exchanges were measured in drought plots than in control plots in summer, which might be mostly attributable to autotrophic (roots) metabolism. The results show that the diversity and magnitude of monoterpene and VOC soil emissions are low compared with plant emissions, that they are driven by soil moisture, that they represent a very small part of the soil-released carbon and that they may be strongly reduced or even reversed into net uptakes by the predicted decreases of soil water availability in the next decades. In all cases, it seems that VOC fluxes in soil might have greater impact on soil ecology than on atmospheric chemistry. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Asensio D, Peñuelas J, Ogaya R, Llusià J (2007) Seasonal soil and leaf CO2 exchange rates in a Mediterranean holm oak forest and their responses to drought conditions. Atmospheric Environment 41: 2447–2455.
Peñuelas J., Estiarte M, Ogaya R, Filella I, Jump A, Garbulsky M, Sardans J., Llusià J, Seco R, Alessio G., Hunt J, Owen S, Asensio D, Prieto P, Ribas A, Carrillo B, Blanch S, Coll M, Kefauer S, Stefanescu C, Lloret F, Terradas J (2007) Climate change effects on Mediterranean forests: from observations to experimentation, from genetics to remote sensing. Afforestation and sustainable forests as means to combat desertification. 16-19 April Jerusalem, Israel, p. 50.
Ogaya R., Peñuelas J. (2007) Seasonal ultrasonic acoustic emissions of Quercus ilex L. trees in a Mediterranean forest. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum. 29: 407-410.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s11738-007-0048-z
Ultrasonic acoustic emissions were measured in Quercus ilex trees of a Mediterranean forest in Catalonia (NE Spain) each season from summer of 2004 to autumn of 2005. Acoustic emissions were maximum during hot and dry summer periods. Acoustic emissions started below 17% soil moisture, 0.85 RWC, and 2.5 MPa leaf water potential. They were negatively correlated with soil moisture and leaf water potential. The relationship between acoustic emissions and leaf water potential was the strongest, indicating that xylem tension is the most important factor inducing both cavitation (acoustic emissions) and a decrease in leaf water potential. Future increase of xylem cavitation derived from climate change may result in growth and survival limitations for this species in the drier southern limits of its current distribution. © 2007 Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences.
Ogaya R., Peñuelas J. (2007) Species-specific drought effects on flower and fruit production in a Mediterranean holm oak forest. Forestry. 80: 351-357.LinkDoi: 10.1093/forestry/cpm009
A holm oak forest was exposed to an experimental drought (reduction of 15 per cent soil moisture as predicted for this area for the next decades by General Circulation Models and ecophysiological models) during 7 years to elucidate the reproductive responses of the dominant species Quercus ilex L., Arbutus unedo L. and Phillyrea latifolia L. Soil moisture was partially reduced by plastic strips intercepting rainfall and by ditch exclusion of water runoff. During the period studied, meteorological conditions and soil moisture were continuously monitored, together with flower and fruit production in the three dominant species. In Q. ilex and A. unedo, flower and specially fruit production were strongly correlated with annual rainfall, but not in P. latifolia. The experimental drought reduced flower and fruit production in Q. ilex by 30 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively. Reductions in flower and fruit production were not significant in A. unedo and were not observed in P. latifolia. A decrease in production of reproductive structures and the different response of the species studied to a decrease in water availability could induce important changes in the competitive ability of the different species and in the long term in the community species composition and future distribution of these Mediterranean species. © Institute of Chartered Foresters, 2007. All rights reserved.
Ogaya R., Peñuelas J. (2007) Tree growth, mortality, and above-ground biomass accumulation in a holm oak forest under a five-year experimental field drought. Plant Ecology. 189: 291-299.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s11258-006-9184-6
A holm oak forest was exposed to an experimental drought during 5 years to elucidate the growth responses of the dominant species Quercus ilex, Arbutus unedo and Phillyrea latifolia. Soil water availability was partially reduced, about 15% as predicted for this area for the next decades by GCM and ecophysiological models, by plastic strips intercepting rainfall and by ditch exclusion of water runoff. The stem diameter increment was highly correlated with annual rainfall in all species, and drought treatment strongly reduced the diameter increment of Q. ilex (41%) and specially of A. unedo (63%), the species showing higher growth rates. Stem mortality rates were highly correlated with previous stem density, but drought treatment increased mortality rates in all species. Q. ilex showed the highest mortality rates (9% and 18% in control and drought plots, respectively), and P. latifolia experienced the lowest mortality rates (1% and 3% in control and drought plots, respectively). Drought strongly reduced the increment of live aboveground biomass during these 5 years (83%). A. unedo and Q. ilex experienced a high reduction in biomass increment by drought, whereas P. latifolia biomass increment was insensitive to drought. The different sensitivity to drought of the dominant species of the holm oak forest may be very important determining their future development and distribution in a drier environment as expected in Mediterranean areas for the next decades. These drier conditions could thus have strong effects on structure (species composition) and functioning (carbon uptake and biomass accumulation) of these Mediterranean forests. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Ogaya R., Peñuelas J. (2007) Leaf mass per area ratio in Quercus ilex leaves under a wide range of climatic conditions. The importance of low temperatures. Acta Oecologica. 31: 168-173.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.actao.2006.07.004
The Digital Climatic Atlas and the Ecological and the Forestry Inventory of Catalonia (NE Spain) were analysed to study the climate effect on leaf mass per area (LMA) and leaf area index (LAI) on Quercus ilex L., one of the most widely spread tree species in the Mediterranean region. 195 sites in this region of 31,895 km2 were considered. The relationship between climatic variables (total annual rainfall, mean annual temperature, mean minimum winter temperatures, and mean annual solar radiation) and LMA and LAI were analysed by simple and multiple regressions. LMA was higher in the drier sites and specially in the colder sites. There was also a significant correlation between solar radiation and LMA. On the contrary, LAI values, which were negatively correlated with LMA values, were lower in drier and colder sites, and were not significantly affected by solar radiation. The results highlight that high LMA values do not seem to be a specific protection to dry conditions but to a wide range of environmental stress factors, including low temperatures. © 2006 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Peñuelas J., Ogaya R., Boada M., Jump A.S. (2007) Migration, invasion and decline: Changes in recruitment and forest structure in a warming-linked shift of European beech forest in Catalonia (NE Spain). Ecography. 30: 829-837.LinkDoi: 10.1111/j.2007.0906-7590.05247.x
Altitudinal upward shifts of species' ranges have occurred across a wide range of taxonomic groups and geographical locations during the twentieth century in response to current climate warming. However, actual data of plant species' altitudinal shifts are still scarce and not always clear. Here we provide a more detailed investigation of a previously reported European beech Fagus sylvatica forest altitudinal shift in the Montseny Mountains (Catalonia, NE Spain) now based on field photographic survey and on the population age structure and the recruitment patterns in the high Fagus limit (HFL), the central forest area (CFA) and the low Fagus limit (LFL). Monitoring of the lowest altitudinal range shows that beech forest is being progressively replaced by Mediterranean holm oak forest. Holm oaks are characterized by recruitment rates more than three times higher than those of beech in the LFL in the last decades. The percentage of young individuals in the LFL is only half that in the HFL and CFA. In the highest altitudinal range, present day and early 20th century photographs show that the HFL has gained density and has shifted altitudinally upwards, advancing with establishment of new, vigorous outpost trees (13 individuals per each 100 m of tree-line). They are mostly (89%) younger than 35 yr old and mostly (97%) located up to 70 m (with a few up to 105 m) ground surface distance above the current tree line (36-51 m altitude) at the highest altitudes (1600-1700 m). The beech forest upward shift is a likely consequence of warming, but land-use practice changes (cessation of burning by shepherds) have made it possible. These changes in vegetation distribution and population structure constitute a new indication of the complex global change effects on life in mountain ecosystems. © 2007 The Authors.
Ogaya R, Peñuelas J (2007) Les baixes temperatures hivernals determinen la morfologia foliar de les plantes. UAB DIVULGA 06/2007.
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