Tree species inhabiting riparian forests under Mediterranean climate have evolved to face summer water shortage but may fail to cope with future increases in drought severity. Thus, understanding tree growth phenological variations in response to environmental conditions is necessary to assess the impact of seasonal drought in riparian forests. In this study, we investigated the response of stem radial growth to climate in the narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia) over its distribution in southern Europe. We simulated intra- and inter-annual growth patterns using the Vaganov-Shashkin (VS) model considering five sites subjected to summer drought but showing different climate conditions. The growth pattern in this species varied from unimodal in cool-wet sites to facultative bimodal in warm-dry sites. Bimodal patterns were characterized by two growth peaks coinciding with favorable climate conditions in spring and autumn. The spring growth peak occurs earlier (May) in warm-dry sites than in wet-cool sites (June–July). The variation in the season growth length and growth timing suggests different strategies adopted by this species to cope with summer drought. The VS model revealed different growth patterns across which would be relevant in predicting the response of this and other riparian tree species to climate warming and aridification. Differences in the length of the growing season, timings of growth peaks and the shift from unimodal to bimodal growth patterns should be considered when assessing growth adjustments to future climate scenarios.

Growth phenological variations in the narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia) over the Mediterranean region: A simulation study

Rita A.;
2022

Abstract

Tree species inhabiting riparian forests under Mediterranean climate have evolved to face summer water shortage but may fail to cope with future increases in drought severity. Thus, understanding tree growth phenological variations in response to environmental conditions is necessary to assess the impact of seasonal drought in riparian forests. In this study, we investigated the response of stem radial growth to climate in the narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia) over its distribution in southern Europe. We simulated intra- and inter-annual growth patterns using the Vaganov-Shashkin (VS) model considering five sites subjected to summer drought but showing different climate conditions. The growth pattern in this species varied from unimodal in cool-wet sites to facultative bimodal in warm-dry sites. Bimodal patterns were characterized by two growth peaks coinciding with favorable climate conditions in spring and autumn. The spring growth peak occurs earlier (May) in warm-dry sites than in wet-cool sites (June–July). The variation in the season growth length and growth timing suggests different strategies adopted by this species to cope with summer drought. The VS model revealed different growth patterns across which would be relevant in predicting the response of this and other riparian tree species to climate warming and aridification. Differences in the length of the growing season, timings of growth peaks and the shift from unimodal to bimodal growth patterns should be considered when assessing growth adjustments to future climate scenarios.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/899483
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