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Impact of climate change on landslides in Slovenia in the mid-21st century
Jernej Jež, Mojca Dolinar, Anže Medved, Špela Kumelj, Gašper Bokal, Mateja Jemec Auflič, 2021

Abstract: Slovenia is affected by extreme and intense rainfall that triggers numerous landslides every year, resulting in significant human impact and damage to infrastructure. Previous studies on landslides have shown how rainfall patterns can influence landslide occurrence, while in this paper, we present one of the first study in Slovenia to examine the impact of climate change on landslides in the mid-21st century. To do this, we used the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 climate scenario and future climatology simulated by six climate models that differed from each other as much as possible while representing measured values of past climate variables as closely as possible. Based on baseline period (1981-2010) we showed the number of days with exceedance of rainfall thresholds and the area where landslides may occur more frequently in the projection period (2041-2070). We found that extreme rainfall events are likely to occur more frequent in the future, which may lead to a higher frequency of landslides in some areas.
Keywords: climate change, landslides, models, hazard, prediction
DiRROS - Published: 09.03.2022; Views: 181; Downloads: 62
.pdf Fulltext (4,78 MB)

Daily climate data reveal stronger climate-growth relationships for an extended European tree-ring network
Jernej Jevšenak, 2019

Abstract: An extended European tree-ring network was compiled from various sources of tree-ring data from Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. A total of 1860 tree-ring chronologies were used to compare correlation coefficients calculated with aggregated day-wise and month-wise mean temperature, sums of precipitation and standardised precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI). For the daily approach, climate data were aggregated over periods ranging from 21 to 365 days. Absolute correlations calculated with day-wise aggregated climate data were on average higher by 0.060 (temperature data), 0.076 (precipitation data) and 0.075 (SPEI data). Bootstrapped correlations are computationally expensive and were therefore calculated on a 69.4% subset of the data. Bootstrapped correlations indicated statistically significant differences between the daily and monthly approach in approximately 1% of examples. A comparison of time windows used for calculations of correlations revealed slightly later onset and earlier ending day of the year for the daily approach, while the largest differences between the two approaches arise from window lengths: Correlations calculated with day-wise aggregated climate data were calculated using fewer days than the monthly approach. Differences in the onset and ending dates of periods for the daily and monthly approaches were greater for precipitation and SPEI data than for temperature data.
Keywords: tree rings, dendroclimatology, tree-ring network, daily climate data, climate-growth relationships, dendroTools
DiRROS - Published: 21.08.2019; Views: 1668; Downloads: 596
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DendroTools : R package for studying linear and nonlinear responses between tree-rings and daily environmental data
Tom Levanič, Jernej Jevšenak

Abstract: We introduce in this paper the dendroTools R package for studying the statistical relationships between tree-ring parameters and daily environmental data. The core function of the package is daily_response(), which works by sliding a moving window through daily environmental data and calculating statistical metrics with one or more tree ring proxies. Possible metrics are correlation coefficient, coefficient of determination and adjusted coeffi- cient of determination. In addition to linear regression, it is possible to use a nonlinear artificial neural network with the Bayesian regularization training algorithm (brnn). dendroTools provides the opportunity to use daily climate data and robust nonlinear functions for the analysis of climate-growth relationships. Models should thus be better adapted to the real (continuous) growth of trees and should gain in predictive capabilities. The dendroTools R package is freely available in the CRAN repository. The functionality of the package is demonstrated on two examples, one using a mean vessel area (MVA) chronology and one a traditional tree-ring width (TRW).
Keywords: dendroclimatology, daily climate data, running window, nonlinear modelling, tree-ring proxies, climate reconstruction
DiRROS - Published: 16.04.2018; Views: 2388; Downloads: 1164
.pdf Fulltext (1,19 MB)

Growth response of different tree species (oaks, beech and pine) from SE Europe to precipitation over time
Saša Orlović, Stefan Stjepanović, Bratislav Matović, Tom Levanič, Dejan Stojanović

Abstract: Changing climatic conditions can have various consequences for forest ecosystems, from increasing frequencies of forest fires, ice and windstorm events to pathogen outbreaks and mass mortalities. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was chosen for the evaluation of drought impact on the radial growth of trees after extensive preliminary testing of various calculated monthly climate parameters from the CARPATCLIM database. SPI was calculated for periods between 3 and 36 months for different sites (lowland and mountainous parts of Serbia, Southeast Europe), from which Quercus robur, Q. cerris, Fagus sylvatica and Pinus sylvestris samples were acquired. Bootstrapped Pearson%s correlations between SPI monthly indices and radial growth of tree species were calculated. We found that 12-month SPI for summer months may be a good predictor of positive and negative growth of different species at different sites. The strongest positive correlations for five of six tree-ring width chronologies were between 12-month June and 14-month September SPI, which implies that high growth rates can be expected when the autumn of the previous year, and winter, spring and summer of the current year, are well supplied with precipitation, and vice versa (low precipitation in given period/low growth rates).
Keywords: standardized precipitation index, SPI, climate change, tree mortality, Quercus sp., Fagus sylvatica, Pinus sylvestris
DiRROS - Published: 18.04.2018; Views: 2351; Downloads: 1211
.pdf Fulltext (2,91 MB)

New features in the dendroTools R package : bootstrapped and partial correlation coefficients for monthly and daily climate data
Jernej Jevšenak, 2020

Abstract: Climate-growth relationships are usually analysed using monthly climate data. The dendroTools R package also provides methodological approaches that enable climate-growth analysis for daily climate data. Such analysis reveals more complete climate signal patterns. In this article, new functions of the dendroTools R package are presented. Partial correlation coefficients are now implemented and can be used to calculate the strength of a linear relationship between two variables, while controlling for a third variable. Bootstrapped correlations can then be used to provide insights into the confidence intervals of statistical estimates. The calculation of partial and bootstrapped correlations is available for daily and monthly data. Finally, data transformation, S3 generic plotting and summary functions are also presented here.
Keywords: dendroTools, daily climate data, partial correlations, bootstrap, dendroclimatology
DiRROS - Published: 24.09.2020; Views: 723; Downloads: 246
.pdf Fulltext (604,66 KB)

Global geographic distribution and host range of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pine pitch canker
Rein Drenkhan, Beccy Ganley, Jorge Martín García, Petr Vahalík, Kalev Adamson, Katarína Adamčíková, Rodrigo Ahumada, Lior Blank, Helena Bragança, Paolo Capretti, Nikica Ogris, 2020

Abstract: Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pine pitch canker (PPC), is currently one of the most important threats of Pinus spp. globally. This pathogen is known in many pine-growing regions, including natural and planted forests, and can affect all life stages of trees, from emerging seedlings to mature trees. Despite the importance of PPC, the global distribution of F. circinatum is poorly documented, and this problem is also true of the hosts within countries that are affected. The aim of this study was to review the global distribution of F. circinatum, with a particular focus on Europe. We considered (1) the current and historical pathogen records, both positive and negative, based on confirmed reports from Europe and globally; (2) the genetic diversity and population structure of the pathogen; (3) the current distribution of PPC in Europe, comparing published models of predicted disease distribution; and (4) host susceptibility by reviewing literature and generating a comprehensive list of known hosts for the fungus. These data were collated from 41 countries and used to compile a specially constructed geo-database ( A review of 6297 observation records showed that F. circinatum and the symptoms it causes on conifers occurred in 14 countries, including four in Europe, and is absent in 28 countries. Field observations and experimental data from 138 host species revealed 106 susceptible host species including 85 Pinus species, 6 non-pine tree species and 15 grass and herb species. Our data confirm that susceptibility to F. circinatum varies between different host species, tree ages and environmental characteristics. Knowledge on the geographic distribution, host range and the relative susceptibility of different hosts is essential for disease management, mitigation and containment strategies. The findings reported in this review will support countries that are currently free of F. circinatum in implementing effective procedures and restrictions and prevent further spread of the pathogen.
Keywords: invasive pathogen, climate change, interactive map of pathogen, susceptibility
DiRROS - Published: 13.07.2020; Views: 1165; Downloads: 719
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Growth-limiting factors and climate response variability in Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) along an elevation and precipitation gradients in Slovenia
Jernej Jevšenak, Ivan Tychkov, Jožica Gričar, Tom Levanič, Jan Tumajer, Peter Prislan, Domen Arnič, Margarita Popkova, Vladimir V. Shishov, 2020

Abstract: Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) is among the most sensitive coniferous species to ongoing climate change. However, previous studies on its growth response to increasing temperatures have yielded contrasting results (from stimulation to suppression), suggesting highly site-specific responses. Here, we present the first study that applies two independent approaches, i.e. the nonlinear, process-based Vaganov-Shashkin (VS) model and linear daily response functions. Data were collected at twelve sites in Slovenia differing in climate regimes and ranging elevation between 170 and 1300 m a.s.l. VS model results revealed that drier Norway spruce sites at lower elevations are mostly moisture limited, while moist high-elevation sites are generally more temperature limited. Daily response functions match well the pattern of growth-limiting factors from the VS model and further explain the effect of climate on radial growth: prevailing growth-limiting factors correspond to the climate variable with higher correlations. Radial growth correlates negatively with rising summer temperature and positively with higher spring precipitation. The opposite response was observed for the wettest site at the highest elevation, which positively reacts to increased summer temperature and will most likely benefit from a warming climate. For all other sites, the future radial growth of Norway spruce largely depends on the balance between spring precipitation and summer temperature.
Keywords: Vaganov-Shashkin model, climate-growth correlations, tree rings, process-based modelling, dendroTools, dendroclimatology
DiRROS - Published: 21.10.2020; Views: 716; Downloads: 513
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Continent-wide tree species distribution models may mislead regional management decisions : a case study in the transboundary biosphere reserve Mura-Drava-Danube
Silvio Schueler, Andrej Kobler, Dejan Stojanović, Sophie Ette, Katharina Lapin, Andreas Rechenmacher, Markus Löw, Gábor Illés, Harald Vacik, Debojyoti Chakraborty, Marcus Sallmannshofer, 2021

Abstract: The understanding of spatial distribution patterns of native riparian tree species in Europe lacks accurate species distribution models (SDMs), since riparian forest habitats have a limited spatial extent and are strongly related to the associated watercourses, which needs to be represented in the environmental predictors. However, SDMs are urgently needed for adapting forest management to climate change, as well as for conservation and restoration of riparian forest ecosystems. For such an operative use, standard large-scale bioclimatic models alone are too coarse and frequently exclude relevant predictors. In this study, we compare a bioclimatic continent-wide model and a regional model based on climate, soil, and river data for central to south-eastern Europe, targeting seven riparian foundation species%Alnus glutinosa, Fraxinus angustifolia, F. excelsior, Populus nigra, Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis, and U. minor. The results emphasize the high importance of precise occurrence data and environmental predictors. Soil predictors were more important than bioclimatic variables, and river variables were partly of the same importance. In both models, five of the seven species were found to decrease in terms of future occurrence probability within the study area, whereas the results for two species were ambiguous. Nevertheless, both models predicted a dangerous loss of occurrence probability for economically and ecologically important tree species, likely leading to significant effects on forest composition and structure, as well as on provided ecosystem services.
Keywords: bioclimatic model, ecological niche model, forest management, tree species selection, riparian forest habitat, climate change adaptation
DiRROS - Published: 22.03.2021; Views: 609; Downloads: 390
.pdf Fulltext (2,47 MB)

Drought stress can induce the pathogenicity of Cryptostroma corticale, the causal agent of sooty bark disease of sycamore maple
Barbara Piškur, Ana Brglez, Nikica Ogris, 2021

Abstract: Reports of sooty bark disease of maples caused by the fungus Cryptostroma corticale have recently been emerging from across Europe. The aims of our study were to describe the first report of sooty bark disease in Slovenia, to determine the pathogenicity of C. corticale, to confirm the optimum temperature for the growth of the fungus, and to determine the mass loss of Acer pseudoplatanus wood inoculated by C. corticale. We confirmed the presence of C. corticale on A. pseudoplatanus via morphological and molecular analysis. The optimal growth of C. corticale was measured in vitro on potato dextrose agar and was determined to occur at 25 °C. Pathogenicity tests were performed on 30 saplings of A. pseudoplatanus under two treatments, humid and drought stress, and the fungus was pathogenic in both treatments. The mean length of bark lesions and wood discoloration of the drought-stressed saplings was significantly greater than that in the humid treatment. Re-isolations of C. corticale were successful from all inoculated saplings, and thus Koch%s postulates were confirmed. The mass loss of A. pseudoplatanus wood was determined by mini-block test in a period of 10 weeks and was observed as minimal. Based on the results, we conclude that C. corticale is a weak and opportunistic pathogen that most likely expresses itself intensively under hot and dry conditions.
Keywords: pathogenicity, drought stress, optimal growth, climate change, mass loss, mini-block test, wood rot, opportunistic pathogen, saprophyte, endophyte
DiRROS - Published: 23.03.2021; Views: 566; Downloads: 440
.pdf Fulltext (3,21 MB)

First report of European truffle ectomycorrhiza in the semi%arid climate of Saudi Arabia
Seema R. Bajaj, Sandesh J. Marathe, Tine Grebenc, Alessandra Zambonelli, Salem Shamekh, 2021

Abstract: Tuber melanosporum Vittad. (Black or Périgord truffle) is a truffle native to the Mediterranean Southern Europe, popular for its unique flavor, and has great economic importance. The present work focused on assessing the possibility of cultivating T. melanosporum associated with Quercus robur L. in the desert climate of Saudi Arabia. The plantation was initiated in November 2018 by planting 271 oak seedlings in the Al-Qassim desert area and checked for survival and ectomycorrhiza development after 1.5 years of plantation maintenance. Amongst the 271 seedlings planted, 243 plants survived two harsh seasons (2019 and 2020), and the randomly selected and tested seedlings were still mycorrhized with T. melanosporum. The mycorrhization level with T. melanosporum was between 5 and 35% of all fine roots, and the share of contaminant ectomycorrhiza was low. In comparison to other areas where T. melanosporum is successfully cultivated, the Al-Qassim desert area has 10%15 °C higher average summer temperatures and a low total annual precipitation, which necessitates regular irrigation of the plantation. This work opens the avenue for an adapted, yet sustainable cultivation of T. melanosporum-inoculated oak tree in a desert climatic condition and introduces new opportunities of the agro-forest business in Saudi Arabia and GCC region.
Keywords: Tuber melanosporum, Quercus robur, Desert climate, Truffle cultivation, Ectomycorrhiza
DiRROS - Published: 26.01.2021; Views: 571; Downloads: 106

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