Understanding how climate affects xylem formation is critical for predicting the impact of future conditions on tree growth and functioning in the Mediterranean region, which is expected to face warmer and drier conditions. However, mechanisms of growth response to climate at different temporal scales are still largely unknown, being complicated by separation between spring and autumn xylogenesis (bimodal temporal pattern) in most species such as Mediterranean pines. We investigated wood anatomical characteristics and carbon stable isotope composition in Mediterranean Pinus pinea L. along tree-ring series at intra-ring resolution to assess xylem formation processes and responses to intra-annual climate variability. Xylem anatomy was strongly related to environmental conditions occurring a few months before and during the growing season, but was not affected by summer drought. In particular, the lumen diameter of the first earlywood tracheids was related to winter precipitation, whereas the size of tracheids produced later was influenced by mid-spring precipitation. Diameter of latewood tracheids was associated with precipitation in mid-autumn. In contrast, tree-ring carbon isotope composition was mostly related to climate of the previous seasons. Earlywood was likely formed using both recently and formerly assimilated carbon, while latewood relied mostly on carbon accumulated many months prior to its formation. Our integrated approach provided new evidence on the short-term and carry-over effects of climate on the bimodal temporal xylem formation in P. pinea. Investigations on different variables and time scales are necessary to disentangle the complex climate influence on tree growth processes under Mediterranean conditions.

Tree-ring anatomy and carbon isotope ratio show both direct and legacy effects of climate on bimodal xylem formation in Pinus pinea

Castagneri, Daniele
;
BATTIPAGLIA, GIOVANNA;Pacheco, Arturo;Carrer, Marco
2018

Abstract

Understanding how climate affects xylem formation is critical for predicting the impact of future conditions on tree growth and functioning in the Mediterranean region, which is expected to face warmer and drier conditions. However, mechanisms of growth response to climate at different temporal scales are still largely unknown, being complicated by separation between spring and autumn xylogenesis (bimodal temporal pattern) in most species such as Mediterranean pines. We investigated wood anatomical characteristics and carbon stable isotope composition in Mediterranean Pinus pinea L. along tree-ring series at intra-ring resolution to assess xylem formation processes and responses to intra-annual climate variability. Xylem anatomy was strongly related to environmental conditions occurring a few months before and during the growing season, but was not affected by summer drought. In particular, the lumen diameter of the first earlywood tracheids was related to winter precipitation, whereas the size of tracheids produced later was influenced by mid-spring precipitation. Diameter of latewood tracheids was associated with precipitation in mid-autumn. In contrast, tree-ring carbon isotope composition was mostly related to climate of the previous seasons. Earlywood was likely formed using both recently and formerly assimilated carbon, while latewood relied mostly on carbon accumulated many months prior to its formation. Our integrated approach provided new evidence on the short-term and carry-over effects of climate on the bimodal temporal xylem formation in P. pinea. Investigations on different variables and time scales are necessary to disentangle the complex climate influence on tree growth processes under Mediterranean conditions.
2018
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3276242
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