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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Regional climate moderately influences species-mixing effect on tree growth-climate relationships and drought resistance for beech and pine across Europe

de Streel, Geraud; Lebourgeois, Francois; Ammer, Christian; Barbeito, Ignacio; Bielak, Kamil; Bravo-Oviedo, Andres; Brazaitis, Gediminas; Coll, Lluis; Collet, Catherine; del Rio, Miren; Den Ouden, Jan; Drossler, Lars; Heym, Michael; Hurt, Vaclav; Kurylyak, Viktor; Lof, Magnus; Lombardi, Fabio; Matovic, Bratislav; Motta, Renzo; Osadchuk, Leonid;
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Increasing species diversity is considered a promising strategy to mitigate the negative impacts of global change on forests. However, the interactions between regional climate conditions and species-mixing effects on climate-growth relationships and drought resistance remain poorly documented.In this study, we investigated the patterns of species-mixing effects over a large gradient of environmental conditions throughout Europe for European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), two species with contrasted ecological traits. We hypothesized that across large geographical scales, the difference of climate-growth relationships and drought resistance between pure and mixed stands would be dependent on regional climate. We used tree ring chronologies derived from 1143 beech and 1164 pine trees sampled in 30 study sites, each composed of one mixed stand of beech and pine and of the two corresponding pure stands located in similar site conditions. For each site and stand, we used Bootstrapped Correlation Coefficients (BCCs) on standardized chronologies and growth reduction during drought years on raw chronologies to analyze the difference in climate-tree growth relationships and resistance to drought between pure and mixed stands.We found consistent large-scale spatial patterns of climate-growth relationships. Those patterns were similar for both species. With the exception of the driest climates where pure and mixed beech stands tended to display differences in growth correlation with the main climatic drivers, the mixing effects on the BCCs were highly variable, resulting in the lack of a coherent response to mixing. No consistent species-mixing effect on drought resistance was found within and across climate zones. On average, mixing had no significant effect on drought resistance for neither species, yet it increased pine resistance in sites with higher climatic water balance in autumn. Also, beech and pine most often differed in the timing of their drought response within similar sites, irrespective of the regional climate, which might increase the temporal stability of growth in mixed compared to pure stands.Our results showed that the impact of species mixing on tree response to climate did not strongly differ between groups of sites with distinct climate characteristics and climate-growth relationships, indicating the interacting influences of species identity, stand characteristics, drought events characteristics as well as local site conditions.


Dendrochronology; Ecological gradient; Species mixture; Fagus sylvatica; Pinus sylvestris

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2022, volume: 520, article number: 120317
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

de Streel, Geraud
Universite Catholique Louvain
Lebourgeois, Francois
Ammer, Christian
University of Gottingen
Barbeito, Ignacio
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Bielak, Kamil
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Bravo-Oviedo, Andres
Natl Museum Nat Sci
Brazaitis, Gediminas
Vytautas Magnus University
Coll, Lluis
Universitat de Lleida
Collet, Catherine
del Rio, Miren
Universidad de Valladolid
Den Ouden, Jan
Wageningen University and Research
Drossler, Lars
Ilia State University
Hurt, Vaclav
Mendel University in Brno
Kurylyak, Viktor
Ukrainian National Forestry University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Lombardi, Fabio
Universita Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria
Matovic, Bratislav
University of Novi Sad
Motta, Renzo
University of Turin
Osadchuk, Leonid
Ukrainian National Forestry University
Pach, Maciej
Agricultural University Krakow
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UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

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