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Article

Assessing Tree Drought Resistance and Climate-Growth Relationships under Different Tree Age Classes in a Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii Forest

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Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología Agroforestal y Genética, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, 02071 Albacete, Spain
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WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
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Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna 9201, Bangladesh
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Departamento de Biodiversidad, Ecología y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, C/José Antonio Novais 12, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Institute for Multidisciplinary Research in Applied Biology (IMAB), Universidad Pública de Navarra, 31006 Pamplona, Spain
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Departamento de Sistemas Físicos, Químicos y Naturales, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giovanna Battipaglia
Forests 2021, 12(9), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091161
Received: 13 July 2021 / Revised: 7 August 2021 / Accepted: 24 August 2021 / Published: 27 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
The magnitude of drought impact in forest ecosystems depends on which group of trees are more severely affected; greater mortality of smaller trees can modulate the trajectories of succession, while the mortality of larger trees can disproportionately offset the ecosystem’s carbon balance. Several studies have documented a greater vulnerability of large trees to extreme droughts while some other studies reported a greater growth reduction in smaller trees during droughts. We tested these hypotheses by comparing tree basal area increment (BAI), drought resistance (i.e., magnitude of growth decline during drought), and resilience (i.e., magnitude of growth recovery after drought) across five different age-classes in black pine (Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii) forests in Spain. Our results showed that the BAI patterns, drought resistance, and resilience were strongly influenced by tree age-classes. In addition, the effect of climatic water balance (precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration) on BAI significantly varied among age-classes. The effect of water balance on BAI was lower for younger age-classes (1–39 years of age) compared to older age-classes. We observed a greater growth reduction (i.e., lower resistance) in older trees (>40 years of age) during droughts compared to younger trees (<40 years of age). However, all trees, irrespective of their ages, were able to recover the growth rates after the drought. In general, younger trees showed a greater capacity in recovering the growth rate (i.e., more resilient) than older trees. We detected no significant effects of stand basal area and stand density on BAI, drought resistance, and resilience. Overall, our results indicated that growth of older trees was more negatively affected during drought. Therefore, these older/larger trees can be selected for commercial thinning, or can be released from competition, which can minimize the potential impacts of future droughts in black pine forests in Spain. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; drought; black pine; resistance; resilience climate change; drought; black pine; resistance; resilience
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lucas-Borja, M.E.; Bose, A.K.; Andivia, E.; Candel-Pérez, D.; Plaza-Álvarez, P.A.; Linares, J.C. Assessing Tree Drought Resistance and Climate-Growth Relationships under Different Tree Age Classes in a Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii Forest. Forests 2021, 12, 1161. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091161

AMA Style

Lucas-Borja ME, Bose AK, Andivia E, Candel-Pérez D, Plaza-Álvarez PA, Linares JC. Assessing Tree Drought Resistance and Climate-Growth Relationships under Different Tree Age Classes in a Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii Forest. Forests. 2021; 12(9):1161. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091161

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lucas-Borja, Manuel E., Arun K. Bose, Enrique Andivia, David Candel-Pérez, Pedro A. Plaza-Álvarez, and Juan C. Linares 2021. "Assessing Tree Drought Resistance and Climate-Growth Relationships under Different Tree Age Classes in a Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii Forest" Forests 12, no. 9: 1161. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091161

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