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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/27991

Title: Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate on Demography and Early Growth of Pinus sylvestris at the Rear Edge: Changing Roles of Biotic and Abiotic Factors
Authors: Benavides, Raquel
Rabasa, Sonia G.
Granda, Elena
Escudero, Adrián
Hódar Correa, José Antonio
Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi
Rincón, Ana M.
Zamora Rodríguez, Regino
Issue Date: Mar-2013
Abstract: Global change triggers shifts in forest composition, with warming and aridification being particularly threatening for the populations located at the rear edge of the species distributions. This is the case of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in the Mediterranean Basin where uncertainties in relation to its dynamics under these changing scenarios are still high. We analysed the relative effect of climate on the recruitment patterns of Scots pine and its interactions with local biotic and abiotic variables at different spatial scales. Number of seedlings and saplings was surveyed, and their annual shoot growth measured in 96 plots located across altitudinal gradients in three different regions in the Iberian Peninsula. We found a significant influence of climate on demography and performance of recruits, with a non-linear effect of temperature on the presence of juveniles, and a positive effect of precipitation on their survival. Abundance of juveniles of P. sylvestris that underwent their first summer drought was skewed towards higher altitudes than the altitudinal mean range of the conspecific adults and the optimum elevation for seedlings' emergence. At local level, light availability did not influence juveniles' density, but it enhanced their growth. Biotic interactions were found between juveniles and the herb cover (competition) and between the number of newly emerged seedlings and shrubs (facilitation). Results also highlighted the indirect effect that climate exerts over the local factors, modulating the interactions with the pre-existing vegetation that were more evident at more stressful sites. This multiscale approach improves our understanding of the dynamics of these marginal populations and some management criteria can be inferred to boost their conservation under the current global warming.
Sponsorship: Funding was provided by the Spanish Ministry for Innovation and Science with the grant Consolider-Montes (CSD2008_00040), and the European Union with the projects BACCARA (CE: FP7-226299, 7FP) and FunDivEUROPE (CE: FP7-ENV-2010. 265171).
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Keywords: Plant
Plant interactions
Zero-inflated poisson
Scots pine
Mediterranean mountain
Natural regeneration
Montseny mountains
Nurse plants
NE Spain
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/27991
ISSN: 1932-6203
Citation: Benavides, R.; et al. Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate on Demography and Early Growth of Pinus sylvestris at the Rear Edge: Changing Roles of Biotic and Abiotic Factors. Plos One, 8(3): e59824 (2013). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/27991]
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