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1.

Aims

The extent to which the spatial and temporal patterns of soil microbial and available nutrient pools hold across different Mediterranean forest types is unclear impeding the generalization needed to consolidate our understanding on Mediterranean ecosystems functioning.

Methods

We explored the response of soil microbial, total, organic and inorganic extractable nutrient pools (C, N and P) to common sources of variability, namely habitat (tree cover), soil depth and season (summer drought), in three contrasting Mediterranean forest types: a Quercus ilex open woodland, a mixed Q. suber and Q. canariensis woodland and a Pinus sylvestris forest.

Results

Soil microbial and available nutrient pools were larger beneath tree cover than in open areas in both oak woodlands whereas the opposite trend was found in the pine forest. The greatest differences in soil properties between habitat types were found in the open woodland. Season (drought effect) was the main driver of variability in the pine forest and was related to a loss of microbial nutrients (up to 75 % loss of Nmic and Pmic) and an increase in microbial ratios (Cmic/Nmic, Cmic/Pmic) from Spring to Summer in all sites. Nutrient pools consistently decreased with soil depth, with microbial C, N and P in the top soil being up to 208 %, 215 % and 274 % larger than in the deeper soil respectively.

Conclusions

Similar patterns of variation emerged in relation to season and soil depth across the three forest types whereas the direction and magnitude of the habitat (tree cover) effect was site-dependent, possibly related to the differences in tree species composition and forest structure, and thus in the quality and distribution of the litter input.  相似文献
2.
Soil respiration (R S) is known to be highly sensitive to different environmental factors, such as temperature, precipitation, and the soil carbon (C) pool. Thus, the scenario of global change expected for the coming decades might imply important consequences for R S dynamics. In addition, all of these factors may have an interactive effect, and the consequences are often confounded. We performed a field experiment to analyze the effect of soil moisture and habitat type on R S in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem by simulating three possible climate scenarios differing in the precipitation amount during summer (drier, wetter, and current precipitation pattern) in the main successional habitats in the area (forest, shrubland, and open habitat). We also considered other factors that would affect R S, such as the soil C pool and microbial biomass. By the use of structural-equation modeling (SEM), we disentangled the interactive effects of the different factors affecting R S. A higher simulated precipitation boosted R S for the different habitats across the sampling period (14.6% higher respect to control), whereas the more severe simulated drought reduced it (19.2% lower respect to control), a trend that was similar at the daily scale. Temperature had, by contrast, scant effects on R S. The SEM analysis revealed a positive effect of moisture and canopy cover on R S, whereas the effect of temperature was weaker and negative. Soil C pool and microbial biomass did not affect R S. We conclude that the precipitation changes expected for the coming decades would play a more important role in controlling R S than would other factors. Thus, the projected changes in the precipitation pattern may have much more profound direct effects on R S than will the projected temperature increases.  相似文献
3.
Increasing temperature and drought intensity is inducing the phenomenon of the so-called “hotter drought”, which is expected to increase in frequency over the coming decades across many areas of the globe, and is expected to have major implications for forest systems. Consequences of hotter drought could be especially relevant for closely related species overlapping their distributions, since differences in response can translate into range shifts. We assessed the effect of future climatic conditions on the performance of five ecologically distinct pine species common in Europe: Pinus halepensis, P. pinaster, P. nigra, P. sylvestris and P. uncinata. We hypothesised that Mediterranean species inhabiting dry, low-elevation sites will be less affected by the expected warming and drought increase than species inhabiting cold-wet sites. We performed a controlled conditions experiment simulating current and projected temperature and precipitation, and analysed seedling responses in terms of survival, growth, biomass allocation, maximum photochemical efficiency (F v/F m) and plant water potential (Ψ). Either an increase in temperature or a reduction in water input alone reduced seedling performance, but the highest impact occurred when these two factors acted in combination. Warming and water limitation reduced Ψ, whereas warming alone reduced biomass allocation to roots and F v/F m. However, species responded differentially to warmer and drier conditions, with lowland Mediterranean pines (P. halepensis and P. pinaster) showing higher survival and performance than mountain species. Interspecific differences in response to warmer, drier conditions could contribute to changes in the relative dominance of these pine species in Mediterranean regions where they co-occur and a hotter, drier climate is anticipated.  相似文献
4.
5.
Question: How does habitat degradation affect recruitment limitation and its components (seed limitation versus establishment limitation) of woody plant communities in a Mediterranean landscape? Location: 1600‐1900 m a.s.l. in the Sierra Nevada National Park, southern Spain. The landscape is a mosaic composed of native forest and two degraded landscape units: reforestation stands and shrubland. Methods: We evaluated fruit production, seed rain, seedling emergence and seedling survival in two consecutive years with contrasting rainfall patterns. Seed and seedling data were used to calculate values of seed and establishment limitation. Results: In general, the woody community was both severely seed‐ and establishment‐limited. Species were less seed‐limited in the landscape units with higher adult density (i.e. shrub species in shrubland, Pinus spp. in reforestation stands). In contrast, degradation did not exacerbate establishment limitation, which was severe in all landscape units. This general pattern was modulated by the biogeographical distribution, dispersal type, and life form of the species. Boreo‐alpine species were more limited in establishment than species with a typical Mediterranean distribution. Zoochorous species were less seed‐limited in the landscape units preferred by dispersers (i.e. native forest). Tree species were more establishment‐limited than shrub species, irrespective of the landscape unit. Seed limitation, and especially establishment limitation, varied among years, with establishment being almost nil in the very dry year. Conclusion: In the case of Mediterranean landscapes, when degradation from human impact involves a reduction in the adult abundance of the woody plant community (trees and shrubs), seed limitation increases, although establishment limitation is generally high in all landscape units, especially for boreo‐alpine species. Conservation and restoration strategies should take into account our results showing that tree species were unable to recruit in an extremely dry year, because more aridity is expected under a climatic change scenario in Mediterranean ecosystems.  相似文献
6.
There is still little information on effects of habitat degradation on post-dispersal seed predation at the landscape scale. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of habitat degradation and seed species on the variability of post-dispersal seed-predation rate. Experimental seed removal was investigated in six Mediterranean woody plant species, four trees (Pinus sylvestris, Quercus ilex, Acer opalus ssp. granatense, and Sorbus aria) and two shrubs (Berberis vulgaris and Crataegus monogyna), in an extensively used mosaic landscape on the Sierra Nevada massif (SE Spain). Seed depots were distributed over 2 years in five differently degraded landscape units, each one with three plots: shrubland; native forest; and dense, cleared and fenced reforestation stands. Predation was the highest in native forest, shrubland, and fenced reforestation, and the lowest in dense and cleared reforestation stands, being partially due to a positive correlation between shrub cover and post-dispersal seed predation. However, the main factors driving post-dispersal seed predation were intrinsic to seeds, as species preference explained most of the variance in our model for predation. The plant-species ranking was Quercus > Pinus > Sorbus > Berberis > Acer > Crataegus, the dominant tree species being the most depredated. These findings are novel because they suggest for the first time that species-selection patterns by post-dispersal seed predators tended to remain constant through both study years in all habitats comprising a mosaic landscape, whether native forest, reforestation stands or successional shrubland.  相似文献
7.
Climatic dryness imposes limitations on vascular plant growth by reducing stomatal conductance, thereby decreasing CO2 uptake and transpiration. Given that transpiration‐driven water flow is required for nutrient uptake, climatic stress‐induced nutrient deficit could be a key mechanism for decreased plant performance under prolonged drought. We propose the existence of an “isohydric trap,” a dryness‐induced detrimental feedback leading to nutrient deficit and stoichiometry imbalance in strict isohydric species. We tested this framework in a common garden experiment with 840 individuals of four ecologically contrasting European pines (Pinus halepensis, P. nigra, P. sylvestris, and P. uncinata) at a site with high temperature and low soil water availability. We measured growth, survival, photochemical efficiency, stem water potentials, leaf isotopic composition (δ13C, δ18O), and nutrient concentrations (C, N, P, K, Zn, Cu). After 2 years, the Mediterranean species Pinus halepensis showed lower δ18O and higher δ13C values than the other species, indicating higher time‐integrated transpiration and water‐use efficiency (WUE), along with lower predawn and midday water potentials, higher photochemical efficiency, higher leaf P, and K concentrations, more balanced N:P and N:K ratios, and much greater dry‐biomass (up to 63‐fold) and survival (100%). Conversely, the more mesic mountain pine species showed higher leaf δ18O and lower δ13C, indicating lower transpiration and WUE, higher water potentials, severe P and K deficiencies and N:P and N:K imbalances, and poorer photochemical efficiency, growth, and survival. These results support our hypothesis that vascular plant species with tight stomatal regulation of transpiration can become trapped in a feedback cycle of nutrient deficit and imbalance that exacerbates the detrimental impacts of climatic dryness on performance. This overlooked feedback mechanism may hamper the ability of isohydric species to respond to ongoing global change, by aggravating the interactive impacts of stoichiometric imbalance and water stress caused by anthropogenic N deposition and hotter droughts, respectively.  相似文献
8.
Ongoing changes in global climate are altering ecological conditions for many species. The consequences of such changes are typically most evident at the edge of a species’ geographical distribution, where differences in growth or population dynamics may result in range expansions or contractions. Understanding population responses to different climatic drivers along wide latitudinal and altitudinal gradients is necessary in order to gain a better understanding of plant responses to ongoing increases in global temperature and drought severity. We selected Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) as a model species to explore growth responses to climatic variability (seasonal temperature and precipitation) over the last century through dendrochronological methods. We developed linear models based on age, climate and previous growth to forecast growth trends up to year 2100 using climatic predictions. Populations were located at the treeline across a latitudinal gradient covering the northern, central and southernmost populations and across an altitudinal gradient at the southern edge of the distribution (treeline, medium and lower elevations). Radial growth was maximal at medium altitude and treeline of the southernmost populations. Temperature was the main factor controlling growth variability along the gradients, although the timing and strength of climatic variables affecting growth shifted with latitude and altitude. Predictive models forecast a general increase in Scots pine growth at treeline across the latitudinal distribution, with southern populations increasing growth up to year 2050, when it stabilizes. The highest responsiveness appeared at central latitude, and moderate growth increase is projected at the northern limit. Contrastingly, the model forecasted growth declines at lowland‐southern populations, suggesting an upslope range displacement over the coming decades. Our results give insight into the geographical responses of tree species to climate change and demonstrate the importance of incorporating biogeographical variability into predictive models for an accurate prediction of species dynamics as climate changes.  相似文献
9.
10.
Ongoing changes in global climate are altering ecological conditions for many species. The consequences of such changes are typically most evident at the edge of the geographical distribution of a species, where range expansions or contractions may occur. Current demographical status at geographical range limits can help us to predict population trends and their implications for the future distribution of the species. Thus, understanding the comparability of demographical patterns occurring along both altitudinal and latitudinal gradients would be highly informative. In this study, we analyse the differences in the demography of two woody species through altitudinal gradients at their southernmost distribution limit and the consistency of demographical patterns at the treeline across a latitudinal gradient covering the complete distribution range. We focus on Pinus sylvestris and Juniperus communis, assessing their demographical structure (density, age and mortality rate), growth, reproduction investment and damage from herbivory on 53 populations covering the upper, central and lower altitudes as well as the treeline at central latitude and northernmost and southernmost latitudinal distribution limits. For both species, populations at the lowermost altitude presented older age structure, higher mortality, decreased growth and lower reproduction when compared to the upper limit, indicating higher fitness at the treeline. This trend at the treeline was generally maintained through the latitudinal gradient, but with a decreased growth at the northern edge for both species and lower reproduction for P. sylvestris. However, altitudinal and latitudinal transects are not directly comparable as factors other than climate, including herbivore pressure or human management, must be taken into account if we are to understand how to infer latitudinal processes from altitudinal data.  相似文献
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