We used tree ring analysis to assess the response of Pinus pinea to climate change in South Iberia. Climate–growth relationships changed over time, with greater sensitivity in recent years due to increasing aridity. A common dendroclimatic signal among sites was found, suggesting that climate change is the main responsible for the observed variation in tree growth.
Understanding the response of Mediterranean forests to climate change is required to assess their vulnerability and to develop measures that may limit the impact of future climate change. We analyzed the sensitivity of several populations of Pinus pinea (Stone pine) in Southern and Central Spain and Portugal to climate and identified some responses to climate change. We constructed tree ring chronologies and studied the dendroclimatic signal over the last century. There were similarities in tree ring growth and response to climate among sites. Growth was enhanced after precipitation during the previous autumn and the current spring and was limited by water shortage. In recent decades, aridity increased in the study region and the sensitivity of tree ring growth to water availability increased at all study sites. We also observed an enhanced growth synchrony among chronologies as well as an increase in ring width variability during the last decades. The radial growth of P. pinea indicated strong effects of climate change. The climatic signal in tree ring chronologies suggested a plastic growth response to climate of this species, although the enhanced growth synchrony and variability in recent years suggest the presence of conditions that are limiting for growth. This study provides the first assessment of the responses of Iberian populations of P. pinea to changes in climate.
Natalini F, Correia A, Vázquez-Piqué J, Alejano R 2015. Tree rings reflect growth adjustments and enhanced synchrony among sites in Iberian stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) under climate change. Ann. For. Sci.: 1-11. 10.1007/s13595-015-0521-6.
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