Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 431976
Title Tree-growth analyses to estimate tree species' drought tolerance
Author(s) Eilmann, B.; Rigling, A.
Source Tree Physiology 32 (2012)2. - ISSN 0829-318X - p. 178 - 187.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tps004
Department(s) Forest Ecology and Forest Management
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) pinus-sylvestris l. - scots pine - forest trees - picea-abies - climate - water - mortality - soil - switzerland - responses
Abstract Climate change is challenging forestry management and practices. Among other things, tree species with the ability to cope with more extreme climate conditions have to be identified. However, while environmental factors may severely limit tree growth or even cause tree death, assessing a tree species' potential for surviving future aggravated environmental conditions is rather demanding. The aim of this study was to find a tree-ring-based method suitable for identifying very drought-tolerant species, particularly potential substitute species for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Valais. In this inner-Alpine valley, Scots pine used to be the dominating species for dry forests, but today it suffers from high drought-induced mortality. We investigate the growth response of two native tree species, Scots pine and European larch (Larix decidua Mill.), and two non-native species, black pine (Pinus nigra Arnold) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii Mirb. var. menziesii), to drought. This involved analysing how the radial increment of these species responded to increasing water shortage (abandonment of irrigation) and to increasingly frequent drought years. Black pine and Douglas fir are able to cope with drought better than Scots pine and larch, as they show relatively high radial growth even after irrigation has been stopped and a plastic growth response to drought years. European larch does not seem to be able to cope with these dry conditions as it lacks the ability to recover from drought years. The analysis of trees' short-term response to extreme climate events seems to be the most promising and suitable method for detecting how tolerant a tree species is towards drought. However, combining all the methods used in this study provides a complete picture of how water shortage could limit species.
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