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Effects of increased drought and selective thinning on growth and resprouting of two coexisting Mediterranean oaks with contrasting leaf habit (Quercus ilex and Quercus cerrioides)
Cotillas de la Torre, Miriam
Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Espelta Morral, Josep Mª; Sabaté i Jorba, Santi
According to the IPCC (2007), the Mediterranean basin is expected to suffer important changes in temperature and precipitation in the next few decades, leading the climate warmer and dryer. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the possible effects of increased drought on species with different structural and physiological traits, to be able to predict possible changes in the structure and composition of Mediterranean forests. Moreover, it will be necessary to assess whether traditional management practices can mitigate the effects of climate change on these forests. The main aim of this study has been to analyze the effects of increased drought on the mortality, growth and resprouting patterns of two co-occurring Mediterranean oak species with contrasting leaf habit (the evergreen Quercus ilex and the winter-deciduous Quercus cerrioides), and to assess the effects of selective thinning on their response to increased drought. Our results show a differential effect of increased drought between species: no differences were observed in the growth of Q. ilex while Q. cerrioides reduced its growth under increased drought conditions. Selective thinning reduced the negative effects of increased drought on tree growth, although this beneficial effect tended to decrease during the experiment. Our results show that increasing aridity in Mediterranean areas can be a constraining factor for deciduous oaks, thus potentially causing their decline in mixed forests and favouring their substitution by the evergreen congeneric species. However, as seen in this study, management can strongly encourage growth both for deciduous and evergreen species, thus reversing the effects of increased water stress on Mediterranean coppices.
2008-03
504 - Ciències del medi ambient
Alzina -- Efectes del medi ambient sobre -- Mediterrània (Regió)
Roure -- Efectes del medi ambient sobre -- Mediterrània (Regió)
Sequeres -- Mediterrània (Regió)
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Research/Master Thesis
         

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