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Forests 2018, 9(7), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070416

Contrasting Patterns of Tree Growth of Mediterranean Pine Species in the Iberian Peninsula

1
Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Environmental Sciences Institute (IUCA), University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
3
Department of Ecology, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Abstract

Wood formation is the primary biological process through which carbon is durably sequestered in woody plants, and is thus a major contributor to mitigate climate change. We analyzed the tree growth patterns of four conifer species across the Iberian Peninsula (IP) based on a dense dendrochronological network (179 sites) combined with a high resolution climate dataset. Generalized linear-mixed models were used to predict the potential tree growth of different pine species under different climate conditions considering different age classes. We found a strong age dependency of tree growth, significant variations across the climate gradients, and a significant interaction of both age and climate effects on the four species considered. Overall, Pinus halepensis was the species with the highest climate sensitivity and the highest growth rates in all age classes and across its distribution area. Due to its stronger plastic character and its potential adaptability, Pinus halepensis was demonstrated to be the most suitable species in terms of tree growth and potentiality to enhance carbon sequestration in the IP. Since its potential distribution largely exceeds its actual distribution, P. halepensis arises as a key species to cope with future climate conditions and to keep fixing carbon regardless of the climatic circumstances. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree-rings; dendrochronology; basal area increment; Generalized Linear Mixed-Effects models; Pinus halepensis; Pinus sylvestris; Pinus uncinata; Pinus nigra; climate; age-effects tree-rings; dendrochronology; basal area increment; Generalized Linear Mixed-Effects models; Pinus halepensis; Pinus sylvestris; Pinus uncinata; Pinus nigra; climate; age-effects
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Martínez del Castillo, E.; Tejedor, E.; Serrano-Notivoli, R.; Novak, K.; Saz, M.Á.; Longares, L.A.; de Luis, M. Contrasting Patterns of Tree Growth of Mediterranean Pine Species in the Iberian Peninsula. Forests 2018, 9, 416.

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