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Local site conditions reduce interspecific differences in climate sensitivity between native and non-native pines
Marcin Miroslav Klisz, Radosław Puchałka, Marcin Jakubowski, M. Koprowski, Maksym Netsvetov, Yulia Prokopuk, Jernej Jevšenak, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Two European pine species, Pinus sylvestris and Pinus nigra, are experiencing dieback as a result of the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events. Recent species distribution models predicted shrinkage of ecological niches in the near future and shifted their habitat range towards the northeast. Consequently, P. sylvestris may contract its range and P. nigra may expand in Central Europe. To test whether native pine species have an advantage over introduced pine species in acclimation to a novel climate in Central Europe, we investigated the climate sensitivity and vitality of P. sylvestris, P. nigra and P. rigida. We sampled mature stands of each pine species at three sites in Central Europe, for which we determined climate–growth relationships: temporal stability of temperature and precipitation correlations with tree-ring width and resilience indices. Based on remote sensing data, we assessed differences in surface reflectance and photosynthetic activity obtained from the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI). Our analyses revealed that the climate sensitivity and surface reflectance of pines are not due to their nativeness in Central Europe but better explained by local site conditions. The specificity and variability of drought events may determine both the homogeneous and diverse susceptibility of species to a negative water balance. Therefore, the character of future climatic extremes seems to be the key to understanding the acclimation of native and non-native pine species in Central Europe. Because our study do not provide evidence of the superiority of non-native pine species over P. sylvestris, and the potential impacts of introduced species on local habitats seem poorly understood in the face of climate change, we urge particular caution in introducing species with unrecognized invasive potential.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris, Pinus nigra, Pinus rigida, acclimation, climate sensitivity, drought resilience
Published in DiRROS: 18.09.2023; Views: 192; Downloads: 36
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Radial increment of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Is under a strong impact of climate in the continental biogeographical region of Croatia
Tom Levanič, Damir Ugarković, Ivan Seletković, Mladen Ognjenović, Mia Marušić, Robert Bogdanić, Nenad Potočić, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) is an important component of forests in the alpine and continental biogeographical regions of Croatia. This study aimed to (1) analyze the long-term response of beech to climate, (2) identify potentially critical climatic conditions that could negatively affect the radial increment (RI) and vitality of beech, and (3) evaluate differences in the response of beech between the two biogeographical regions in Croatia. We used the 16 × 16 km Croatian ICP Forests Level 1 network. On a total of 25 plots, we cored between 5 and 24 trees for dendrochronological analysis. Tree-ring widths (TRW) were measured and standardized using cubic spline. TRW chronologies for the two regions were calculated and correlated to the temperature and precipitation data and Standardized Precipitation and Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) using bootstrapped correlations. Continental region precipitation from April to August and alpine region precipitation from June to August were significantly important for RI. Temperature was less important for RI than precipitation in both regions, but the importance of the negative impact of above-average temperatures in the continental region and the positive impact of above-average precipitation in the alpine region has increased over the last two decades. A comparison with the 3-month SPEI confirmed the significant influence of high temperatures and the lack of precipitation in August on the RI of beech trees in both regions.
Keywords: climate change, tree growth, forest productivity, drought, European beech
Published in DiRROS: 28.06.2023; Views: 252; Downloads: 124
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Stable isotope composition in tree rings of Fagus sylvatica L. saplings reflects environmental variation induced by silviculture and microsite factors
Janez Kermavnar, Tom Levanič, Lado Kutnar, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Natural regeneration of tree species is sensitive to silvicultural interventions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of different cutting intensities and local topographic and soil conditions on the composition of stable carbon (δ13C) and oxygen (δ18O) isotopes in wood of young beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) trees. Beech saplings in the regeneration layer were sampled in summer 2018 at three study sites in Dinaric fir-beech forests in the karst area of Slovenia. Three different cutting intensities were performed in 2012: i) no cutting (control), ii) 50% cutting of the stand’s growing stock creating thinned stands, and iii) 100% cutting of the stand’s growing stock creating 0.4 ha canopy gaps. We show that δ13C increased along the gradient of cutting intensity. On average, δ13C values in the tree rings were ∼ 2‰ increased in trees from canopy gaps than from closed control stands. Furthermore, δ13C was higher on south-facing slopes characterized by higher air temperatures and lower relative humidity compared to north-facing slopes of karst sinkholes. Additionally, the results suggest a dependence of δ18O on interannual and cross-site climatic variations, particularly in the case of summer precipitation amount. δ18O also responded to soil depth, with beech individuals exhibiting lower values on deeper soils, presumably characterized by higher soil water availability compared to shallow soils. The results are discussed in the context of future climate change, as many beech-dominated forests on karst terrain in the Dinaric Mountains are particularly affected by climate warming and drying due to prolonged and reoccurring summer droughts, intensified large-scale disturbances, and often shallow soils with low water storage capacity.
Keywords: stable carbon isotopes, stable oxygen isotopes, tree cutting, microclimate, drought stress, dinaric fir-beech forests
Published in DiRROS: 05.04.2023; Views: 669; Downloads: 148
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Turkey oak (Quercus cerris L.) is more drought tolerant and better reflects climate variations compared to pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) in lowland mixed forests in northwestern Serbia : ǂa ǂstable carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) and radial growth approach
Saša Kostić, Tom Levanič, Saša Orlović, Bratislav Matović, Dejan Stojanović, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Tree-ring width (TRW), stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) and intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) data set chronologies were built for the period 1961–2000 for two oak species (pedunculate oak – Quercus robur L. and Turkey oak – Quercus cerris L.) in northwestern Serbia (Vojvodina province). We focused on the response of the two oak species to measured meteorological data (temperature, precipitation and cloud cover), drought events expressed by six meteorological drought indices, and river water level to better understand their drought tolerance and stress and to assess the reliability of the species response to climate and drought indices when using TRW or δ13C. Turkey oak exhibited better drought tolerance (and less drought stress) compared to pedunculate oak, as manifested, respectively, by less negative δ13C and lower iWUE values. Based on a generalised additive mixed model (GAMM) among the six drought indices studied, the standardised precipitation evapotranspiration index and the standardised precipitation index showed the best fit with both TRW and δ13C, while the Palmer drought severity index exerted a strong influence only on TRW. It was thus concluded that δ13C responds more strongly and rapidly to climate variations than TRW.
Keywords: dendrochronology, stable carbon isotope, tree ring, Quercus robur, Quercus cerris, drought, climate change
Published in DiRROS: 04.08.2022; Views: 492; Downloads: 354
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Early-warning signals of individual tree mortality based on annual radial growth
Maxime Cailleret, Vasilis Dakos, Steven Jansen, Elisabeth M.R. Robert, Tuomas Aakala, Mariano M. Amoroso, Joe A. Antos, Christof Bigler, Harald Bugmann, Marco Caccianaga, Katarina Čufar, Tom Levanič, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Tree mortality is a key driver of forest dynamics and its occurrence is projected to increase in the future due to climate change. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the physiological mechanisms leading to death, we still lack robust indicators of mortality risk that could be applied at the individual tree scale. Here, we build on a previous contribution exploring the differences in growth level between trees that died and survived a given mortality event to assess whether changes in temporal autocorrelation, variance, and synchrony in time-series of annual radial growth data can be used as early warning signals of mortality risk. Taking advantage of a unique global ring-width database of 3065 dead trees and 4389 living trees growing together at 198 sites (belonging to 36 gymnosperm and angiosperm species), we analyzed temporal changes in autocorrelation, variance, and synchrony before tree death (diachronic analysis), and also compared these metrics between trees that died and trees that survived a given mortality event (synchronic analysis). Changes in autocorrelation were a poor indicator of mortality risk. However, we found a gradual increase in interannual growth variability and a decrease in growth synchrony in the last %20 years before mortality of gymnosperms, irrespective of the cause of mortality. These changes could be associated with drought-induced alterations in carbon economy and allocation patterns. In angiosperms, we did not find any consistent changes in any metric. Such lack of any signal might be explained by the relatively high capacity of angiosperms to recover after a stress-induced growth decline. Our analysis provides a robust method for estimating early-warning signals of tree mortality based on annual growth data. In addition to the frequently reported decrease in growth rates, an increase in inter-annual growth variability and a decrease in growth synchrony may be powerful predictors of gymnosperm mortality risk, but not necessarily so for angiosperms.
Keywords: tree mortality, ring-width, forest, growth, resilience indicators, drought, biotic agents, variance
Published in DiRROS: 20.07.2022; Views: 448; Downloads: 309
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Effects of climate on Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) growth Southeast of the European Alps
Tom Levanič, Hana Štraus, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) is a non-native tree species in Slovenia with the potential to partially replace Norway spruce in our native forests. Compared to spruce, it has several advantages in terms of volume growth, wood quality and tolerance to drought. This is important given the changing climate in which spruce is confronted with serious problems caused by increasing temperatures and drought stress. At three sites (one on non-carbonate bedrock and deep soils, and two on limestone with soil layers of varying depths), 20 Douglas-fir and 20 spruce per site were sampled in order to compare their radial growth response to climate and drought events. The radial growth of Douglas-fir exceeds that of spruce by about 20% on comparable sites. It is more responsive to climate than spruce. Above-average temperatures in February and March have a significant positive effect on the radial growth of Douglas-fir. In recent decades, above-average summer precipitation has also had a positive influence on the radial growth of Douglas-fir. Compared to spruce, Douglas-fir is less sensitive to extreme drought events. Our results indicate that Douglas-fir may be a good substitute for spruce in semi-natural managed forest stands in Slovenia. The planting of Douglas-fir should be allowed in Slovenian forests, but the proportion of it in forest stands should be kept lower than is the case with spruce today.
Keywords: climate change, climate response, drought, radial increment, dendrochronology
Published in DiRROS: 15.06.2022; Views: 442; Downloads: 372
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Repository of drought event impacts across the danube catchment countries between 1981 and 2016 using publicly available sources
Jiří Jakubínský, Monika Bláhová, Lenka Bartošová, Klára Steinerová, Jan Balek, Petra Dížková, Daniela Semerádová, Daniel Alexandru, Galia Bardarska, Sabina Bokal, Gregor Gregorič, Gal Oblišar, Andreja Sušnik, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Drought directly and indirectly affects human society in a number of ways. In many regions of the world climate change will exasperate the effects of droughts, affect national economies more intensely. The main aim of this article was to catalogue and analyze the drought impacts in the 11 Central and South Eastern European states located in the Danube river basin. The identification of dry episodes was based on information from publicly available sources, namely, newspaper and journal articles that reported drought impacts. Information on drought impact occurrences was classified into one of five defined categories in which the drought impact report was most clearly manifested (i.e., agriculture, forestry, soil systems, wildfires and hydrology). In terms of the spatial distribution of drought impacts, individual recorded events were analyzed at the level of EU NUTS regions (or their equivalent in non-EU countries). The analysis highlights country-specific vulnerability to drought. Furthermore, gradual increases in drought events and the number of reported impacts were identified, which was particularly evident in the agricultural sector.
Keywords: drought impact, Danube basin, agriculture, climate change, water stress
Published in DiRROS: 21.04.2022; Views: 706; Downloads: 301
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Surprising drought tolerance of Fir (Abies) species between past climatic adaptation and future projections reveals new chances for adaptive forest management
Csaba Mátyás, František Beran, Jaroslav Dostál, Jiří Čáp, Martin Fulín, Monika Vejpustková, Gregor Božič, Pál Balázs, Josef Frýdl, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: esearch Highlights: Data of advanced-age provenance tests were reanalyzed applying a new approach, to directly estimate the growth of populations at their original sites under individually generated future climates. The results revealed the high resilience potential of fir species. Background and Objectives: The growth and survival of silver fir under future climatic scenarios are insufficiently investigated at the xeric limits. The selective signature of past climate determining the current and projected growth was investigated to analyze the prospects of adaptive silviculture and assisted transfer of silver fir populations, and the introduction of non-autochthonous species. Materials and Methods: Hargreaves% climatic moisture deficit was selected to model height responses of adult populations. Climatic transfer distance was used to assess the relative drought stress of populations at the test site, relating these to the past conditions to which the populations had adapted. ClimateEU and ClimateWNA pathway RCP8.5 data served to determine individually past, current, and future moisture deficit conditions. Besides silver fir, other fir species from South Europe and the American Northwest were also tested. Results: Drought tolerance profiles explained the responses of transferred provenances and predicted their future performance and survival. Silver fir displayed significant within-species differentiation regarding drought stress response. Applying the assumed drought tolerance limit of 100 mm relative moisture deficit, most of the tested silver fir populations seem to survive their projected climate at their origin until the end of the century. Survival is likely also for transferred Balkan fir species and for grand fir populations, but not for the Mediterranean species. Conclusions: The projections are less dramatic than provided by usual inventory assessments, considering also the resilience of populations. The method fills the existing gap between experimentally determined adaptive response and the predictions needed for management decisions. It also underscores the unique potential of provenance tests.
Keywords: climate change, common garden, provenance test, silver fir, grand fir, Balkan firs, drought stress, resilience, climate transfer distance, adaptation
Published in DiRROS: 05.07.2021; Views: 794; Downloads: 509
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Drought stress can induce the pathogenicity of Cryptostroma corticale, the causal agent of sooty bark disease of sycamore maple
Nikica Ogris, Ana Brglez, Barbara Piškur, 2021, original scientific article

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
Published in DiRROS: 23.03.2021; Views: 1000; Downloads: 789
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Interrelations of various tree vitality indicators and their reaction to climatic conditions on a European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.)
Mladen Ognjenović, Tom Levanič, Nenad Potočić, Damir Ugarković, Krunoslav Indir, Ivan Seletković, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Interrelations of various common beech vitality indicators (crown defoliation, foliar chemistry, radial growth) as well as their possible dependencies on climatic conditions were investigated over the course of 12 years in a mature and healthy beech stand. Our results confirm the importance of temperature variables for defoliation, as high temperatures during spring and summer months induce the increase of defoliation. The same negative influence was observed with high maximum temperatures and low precipitation during previous year summer months. Phosphorus, calcium and magnesium nutrition of beech trees suffers from high temperatures during current year summer and benefits from more precipitation. High temperatures in current year May positively influence beech radial growth, while a wide range of minimum temperatures during March and June has a negative effect. In summary, high summer temperatures and low precipitation were shown to have a negative effect on all vitality indicators, and for defoliation and nutrition this effect can last into the following year.
Keywords: defoliation, foliar nutrition, radial growth, drought, vitality
Published in DiRROS: 15.01.2021; Views: 918; Downloads: 261
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