Climatic turning point for beech and oak under climate change in Central Europe.

Mette T, Dolos K, Meinardus C, Bräuning A, Reineking B, Blaschke M, Pretzsch H, Beierkuhnlein C, Gohlke A, Wellstein C (2013)

Publication Language: English

Publication Status: Published

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2013


Book Volume: 4

Article Number: 145

Journal Issue: 12


DOI: 10.1890/ES13-00115.1

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The growth behavior of coexisting tree species under climate change is important from an ecological, silvicultural and economic perspective. While many previous studies are concerned with climatic limits for species occurrence, we focus on climate related shifts in interspecific competition. A landmark for these changes in competition is the 'climatic turning point' (CTP): those climate conditions under which a rank reversal between key tree species occurs. Here, we used a common type of temperate mixed forest in Central Europe with European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) to explore the CTP under a future climate projection of increasing temperature and aridity. We selected a dry region where the prerequisite of differential climate sensitivity in mixed beech-oak forests was fulfilled: In-situ dendrochronological analyses demonstrated that the currently more competitive beech was more drought sensitive than sessile oak. We then used two complementary forest growth models, namely SILVA and LandClim, to investigate the climate induced rank-reversal in species dominance and to quantify it as the CTP from beech to oak by simulating future forest development from the WETTREG 2010 A1B climate projection. Utilizing two models allowed us to draw conclusions robust against the assumptions of a particular model. Both models projected a CTP at a mean annual temperature of 11-12°C (July temperature. 18°C) and a precipitation sum of 500-530 mm. However, the change in tree species composition can exhibit a time-lag of several decades depending on past st and development and current st and structure. We conclude that the climatic turning point is a simple yet effective reference measure to study climate related changes in interspecific competition, and confirm the importance of competition sensitivity in climate change modeling.

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Mette, T., Dolos, K., Meinardus, C., Bräuning, A., Reineking, B., Blaschke, M.,... Wellstein, C. (2013). Climatic turning point for beech and oak under climate change in Central Europe. Ecosphere, 4(12).


Mette, Tobias, et al. "Climatic turning point for beech and oak under climate change in Central Europe." Ecosphere 4.12 (2013).

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