Are pine-oak mixed stands in Mediterranean mountains more resilient to drought than their monospecific counterparts?



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Muñoz-Gálvez, Francisco J. and Herrero, Asier and Pérez-Corona, Esther and Andivia Muñoz, Enrique (2021) Are pine-oak mixed stands in Mediterranean mountains more resilient to drought than their monospecific counterparts? Forest Ecology and Management, 484 (118955). pp. 1-10. ISSN 0378-1127

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Climate change projections point to an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme drought events with important negative impacts on forest functioning. Predicting these impacts constitutes a crucial challenge for forest managers and for the maintenance of ecosystem services supply. Promoting mixed stands seems a promising strategy for adapting forest ecosystems to ongoing climate change. However, some uncertainty exists regarding whether admixture can improve growth resilience to extreme drought events. Here, we aim to assess tree growth response to drought in mixed and monospecific stands of Pinus sylvestris L. and Quercus pyrenaica Willd. in central Spain. We built tree-ring chronologies and evaluated tree growth sensitivity to water availability and growth resilience components to extreme droughts using linear mixed models. We found contrasting speciesand climate-specific responses to admixture. Q. pyrenaica growth was significantly higher in mixed than in monospecific stands, especially in years without water limitations, while P. sylvestris showed higher growth in mixed stands under dry conditions. However, our results showed a species-specific trade-off between resistance and recovery. While P. sylvestris showed higher resistance but lower recovery to drought events in mixed than monospecific stands, Q. pyrenaica showed higher recovery but lower resistance. This trade-off might explain the absence of admixture effects on species resilience. Our results highlight the importance of considering speciesspecific responses to water availability and associated trade-offs when evaluating admixture effects on drought vulnerability. Overall, we show a positive effect of admixture on the long-term growth stability in response to average climate conditions, but no effects in short-term resilience capacity to increasingly common extreme dry conditions. Consequently, admixture can promote forest productivity stability but should be carefully considered as a management solution for promoting the resilience of Mediterranean mountain forests to increasing aridity.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Admixture; Climate change; Complementarity; Forest management;Growth stability; Pinus sylvestris; Quercus pyrenaica
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
Humanities > Geography > Meteorology
ID Code:65998
Deposited On:07 Jun 2021 10:34
Last Modified:08 Jun 2021 18:44

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