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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

The 2018 European heatwave led to stem dehydration but not to consistent growth reductions in forests

Salomon, Roberto L.; Peters, Richard L.; Zweifel, Roman; Sass-Klaassen, Ute G. W.; Stegehuis, Annemiek I.; Smiljanic, Marko; Poyatos, Rafael; Babst, Flurin; Cienciala, Emil; Fonti, Patrick; Lerink, Bas J. W.; Lindner, Marcus; Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Nabuurs, Gert-Jan; van der Maaten, Ernst; von Arx, Georg; Bar, Andreas; Akhmetzyanov, Linar; Balanzategui, Daniel;
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Abstract

Heatwaves exert disproportionately strong and sometimes irreversible impacts on forest ecosystems. These impacts remain poorly understood at the tree and species level and across large spatial scales. Here, we investigate the effects of the record-breaking 2018 European heatwave on tree growth and tree water status using a collection of high-temporal resolution dendrometer data from 21 species across 53 sites. Relative to the two preceding years, annual stem growth was not consistently reduced by the 2018 heatwave but stems experienced twice the temporary shrinkage due to depletion of water reserves. Conifer species were less capable of rehydrating overnight than broadleaves across gradients of soil and atmospheric drought, suggesting less resilience toward transient stress. In particular, Norway spruce and Scots pine experienced extensive stem dehydration. Our high-resolution dendrometer network was suitable to disentangle the effects of a severe heatwave on tree growth and desiccation at large-spatial scales in situ, and provided insights on which species may be more vulnerable to climate extremes.

Published in

Nature Communications
2022, volume: 13, number: 1, article number: 28
Publisher: NATURE PORTFOLIO

Authors' information

Salomon, Roberto L.
Ghent University
Salomon, Roberto L.
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Peters, Richard L.
Ghent University
Peters, Richard L.
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Zweifel, Roman
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
Sass-Klaassen, Ute G. W.
Wageningen University and Research
Stegehuis, Annemiek I.
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Smiljanic, Marko
Ernst Moritz Arndt Universitat Greifswald
Poyatos, Rafael
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Poyatos, Rafael
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Babst, Flurin
University of Arizona
Cienciala, Emil
Global Change Research Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Cienciala, Emil
IFER Inst Forest Ecosyst Res
Fonti, Patrick
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
Lerink, Bas J. W.
Wageningen University and Research
Lindner, Marcus
European Forest Inst
Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Mencuccini, Maurizio
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Mencuccini, Maurizio
ICREA
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UKÄ Subject classification

Climate Research
Forest Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27579-9

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/120227