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Open AccessArticle

Contrasting Response to Drought and Climate of Planted and Natural Pinus pinaster Aiton Forests in Southern Spain

Depto. Ingeniería Forestal, Laboratorio de Selvicultura, Dendrocronología y Cambio Climático, DendrodatLab- ERSAF, Universidad de Córdoba, Campus de Rabanales, Crta. IV, km. 396, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(7), 603;
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
PDF [4211 KB, uploaded 24 July 2019]


Extreme drought events and increasing aridity are leading to forest decline and tree mortality, particularly in populations near the limits of the species distribution. Therefore, a better understanding of the growth response to drought and climate change could show the vulnerability of forests and enable predictions of future dieback. In this study, we used a dendrochronological approach to assess the response to drought in natural and planted forests of the maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) located in its southernmost distribution (south of Spain). In addition, we investigated how environmental variables (climatic and site conditions) and structural factors drive radial growth along the biogeographic and ecological gradients. Our results showed contrasting growth responses to drought of natural and planted stands, but these differences were not significant after repeated drought periods. Additionally, we found differences in the climate–growth relationships when comparing more inland sites (wet previous winter and late spring precipitation) and sites located closer to the coast (early spring precipitation). Response functions emphasized the negative effect of defoliation and drought, expressed as the June standard precipitation-evapotranspiration index calculated for the 12-month temporal scale and the mean temperature in the current February, on growth. The strong relationship between climatic variables and growth enabled acceptable results to be obtained in a modeling approach. The study and characterization of this tree species’ response to drought will help to improve the adaptive management of forests under climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; dendroecology; drought; forest decline; maritime pine climate change; dendroecology; drought; forest decline; maritime pine

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Rodriguez-Vallejo, C.; Navarro-Cerrillo, R.M. Contrasting Response to Drought and Climate of Planted and Natural Pinus pinaster Aiton Forests in Southern Spain. Forests 2019, 10, 603.

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