Xylem phenology has been widely recognised as an ecological indicator of the impact of environmental changes on forest ecosystems, especially at the edge of a species distribution. We investigated xylem phenology of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in three sites in Italy, between the 38th and 46th parallels. The phases of xylem phenology were assessed weekly on wood microcores collected from March to November 2015 to calculate timing and duration of xylem cell production. The effect of temperature and precipitation on xylem phenology were sequentially included in stepwise regressions and used to predict the duration of each phenological phase under three future climatic scenarios at different concentrations of greenhouse gases (RCP 2.6; RCP 4.5; and RCP 8.5). A growing season of 163 days was detected in the southern site that was longer compared to the central (132 days) and northern (120 days) sites. A longer duration of xylogenesis was mostly related to a delayed completion of xylem differentiation in autumn rather than an earlier onset of cambium reactivation in spring. Overall, 67-76% of the duration of phenological phases was controlled by growing season precipitation, while 24-33% was influenced by minimum temperature. Inclusion of both the above factors in the modelling exercise simulated a lengthening of the silver fir growing season during the 21st century. A longer duration of xylogenesis was envisaged in the scenario RCP 8.5, especially in the central site. Population and climate gradients need to be considered when addressing phenological shifts and growth dynamics of silver fir in Mediterranean mountains.

Influence of climatic factors on silver fir xylogenesis along the italian peninsula

LOMBARDI, Fabio;
2019

Abstract

Xylem phenology has been widely recognised as an ecological indicator of the impact of environmental changes on forest ecosystems, especially at the edge of a species distribution. We investigated xylem phenology of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in three sites in Italy, between the 38th and 46th parallels. The phases of xylem phenology were assessed weekly on wood microcores collected from March to November 2015 to calculate timing and duration of xylem cell production. The effect of temperature and precipitation on xylem phenology were sequentially included in stepwise regressions and used to predict the duration of each phenological phase under three future climatic scenarios at different concentrations of greenhouse gases (RCP 2.6; RCP 4.5; and RCP 8.5). A growing season of 163 days was detected in the southern site that was longer compared to the central (132 days) and northern (120 days) sites. A longer duration of xylogenesis was mostly related to a delayed completion of xylem differentiation in autumn rather than an earlier onset of cambium reactivation in spring. Overall, 67-76% of the duration of phenological phases was controlled by growing season precipitation, while 24-33% was influenced by minimum temperature. Inclusion of both the above factors in the modelling exercise simulated a lengthening of the silver fir growing season during the 21st century. A longer duration of xylogenesis was envisaged in the scenario RCP 8.5, especially in the central site. Population and climate gradients need to be considered when addressing phenological shifts and growth dynamics of silver fir in Mediterranean mountains.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/3119
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