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Contrasting effects of environmental change factors on the radial growth of co-occurring European beech and fir trees across Europe

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Bosela, M., Lukac, M., Castagneri, D., Sedmak, R., Biber, P., Carrer, M., Konopka, B., Nola, P., Nagel, T. A., Popa, I., Roibu, C. C., Svoboda, M., Trotsiuk, V. and Buntgen, U. (2018) Contrasting effects of environmental change factors on the radial growth of co-occurring European beech and fir trees across Europe. Science of the Total Environment, 615. pp. 1460-1469. ISSN 0048-9697

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09.092

Abstract/Summary

Under predicted climate change, silver fir (Abies alba) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica) are the most likely replacement species for the more heat- and drought-sensitive monocultures of Norway spruce (Picea abies) planted across large parts of continental Europe. Our current understanding of the climate-related adaptation potential of fir and beech mixtures is, however, limited. Here we compile and analyse 2855 tree-ring width (TRW) series from 17 mixed beech-fir forest sites in five European countries. Dendroecological techniques that combine various detrending methods with an application of documented environmental change trends reveal wide variation of radial growth between fir and beech across space and time. Coincidental with peak SO2 emissions, the growth of silver fir declined between 1950 and 1980 at most sites, whereas beech growth increased during this period. Correspondent to a significant warming trend from 1990–2010, average beech growth declined, but silver fir growth increased. Our observations of long-term growth trends support the replacement of spruce monocultures with multi-species mixtures that have demonstrated a higher tolerance of environmental changes.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:73174
Publisher:Elsevier

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