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Article

The Dry and the Wet Case: Tree Growth Response in Climatologically Contrasting Years on the Island of Corsica

1
Institute of Geography, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Wetterkreuz 15, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
2
Laboratory of Climatology and Remote Sensing, Philipps-University of Marburg, Deutschhausstraße 12, 35037 Marburg, Germany
3
Laboratoire d’Hydrogéologie, Campus Grimaldi, Université de Corse Pascal Paoli, BP 52, 20250 Corte, France
4
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6134, SPE, 20250 Corte, France
5
Institute for Environmental Sciences, Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) Cottbus-Senftenberg, Burger Chaussee 2, 03044 Cottbus, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Adele Muscolo
Forests 2021, 12(9), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091175
Received: 20 July 2021 / Revised: 20 August 2021 / Accepted: 27 August 2021 / Published: 30 August 2021
Stem radial variations of Corsican Black pine (Pinus nigra Arnold subsp. laricio Maire) and Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) were monitored to quantify the impact of two meteorologically contrasting consecutive years. On the French island of Corsica, in the western Mediterranean basin, the year 2017 was extremely dry, while 2018 was exceptionally wet. We attached electric band dendrometers to 36 pines along an east–west transect, spanning the central mountain range, and set up automated weather stations at all five sites, ranging from 10 m asl to 1600 m asl. Stem radial variations (SRV) were separated into irreversible growth (GRO) and tree water deficit (TWD) periods. During the drought of 2017, the most severe tree water deficits occurred in the western part of the island, whereas trees at higher elevations were more affected than at lower elevations. A prolonged decrease of SRV, even close to the tree line, suggests bimodal growth and reveals high plasticity of growth patterns in both Corsican pines. Stem radial variations correlated significantly with precipitation and temperature. The positive correlations of GRO with precipitation and the negative correlations of TWD with temperature imply that high evapotranspiration led to the intense period of TWD in 2017. A novel approach was used to further investigate the growth/climate relationship by including synoptic-scale pressure situations. This revealed that an elevation gradient in GRO per weather pattern was only present in the wet year and that even rarely occurring weather patterns can have a substantial impact on tree growth. This novel approach provides a more comprehensive insight into meteorological drivers of tree growth patterns by incorporating different scales of the climatic system. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pinus nigra subsp. laricio; Pinus pinaster; electrical band dendrometer; drought; Mediterranean; tree water deficit; stem radial variations Pinus nigra subsp. laricio; Pinus pinaster; electrical band dendrometer; drought; Mediterranean; tree water deficit; stem radial variations
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MDPI and ACS Style

Häusser, M.; Szymczak, S.; Knerr, I.; Bendix, J.; Garel, E.; Huneau, F.; Trachte, K.; Santoni, S.; Bräuning, A. The Dry and the Wet Case: Tree Growth Response in Climatologically Contrasting Years on the Island of Corsica. Forests 2021, 12, 1175. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091175

AMA Style

Häusser M, Szymczak S, Knerr I, Bendix J, Garel E, Huneau F, Trachte K, Santoni S, Bräuning A. The Dry and the Wet Case: Tree Growth Response in Climatologically Contrasting Years on the Island of Corsica. Forests. 2021; 12(9):1175. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091175

Chicago/Turabian Style

Häusser, Martin, Sonja Szymczak, Isabel Knerr, Jörg Bendix, Emilie Garel, Frédéric Huneau, Katja Trachte, Sébastien Santoni, and Achim Bräuning. 2021. "The Dry and the Wet Case: Tree Growth Response in Climatologically Contrasting Years on the Island of Corsica" Forests 12, no. 9: 1175. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091175

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