title Changes in land use and physiological transitions of a Juniperus thurifera forest: from decline to recovery
authors Montesinos, D; Fabado, J
nationality internacional
language English
document type Article
author keywords forest management; forest decline; global change; Juniperus thurifera; land abandonment
abstract Forest decline is frequently associated with infection; however, infections habitually affect trees that have been previously debilitated by environmental stress. Nevertheless, the causes and physiology of noninfectious forest decline are not well known. Some Juniperus thurifera L. forests presented severe (noninfectious) declines, with defoliations over 50%. The goal of this study was to determine the causes and characterize the physiology of this noninfectious decline, and we hypothesized that it could be related to environmental stress from increasing interspecific competition resulting from land abandonment. We randomly assigned 60 trees to either a control group or one of two competition-release treatments, i.e., vegetation clearing or soil ploughing. We characterized the physiological state of the trees both before treatment application and 14 months after treatment application. The J. thurifera trees that were declining experienced significantly lower soil nutrient and water availability, which resulted in lower leaf nutrient concentrations, lower photosynthetic rates, higher water stress, and arrested growth and reproduction. We confirmed that competition release increased nutrient availability and acquisition, reduced water deficit, improved photosynthetic rates, and abruptly stopped defoliation. Competition plays an increasingly critical role in forest conservation, particularly with the reported increase in the number of species colonizing previously unfeasible habitats due to global change and the absence of traditional activities that used to buffer competition.
author address [Montesinos, Daniel] Univ Coimbra, Ctr Ecol Func, Calcada Martim de Freitas, P-3000456 Coimbra, Portugal; [Montesinos, Daniel] Ctr Invest Desertificac CIDE CSIC UV GV, Moncada 46113, Spain; [Fabado, Javier] Jardi Bot Univ Valencia, Valencia 46008, Spain
reprint address Montesinos, D (reprint author), Univ Coimbra, Ctr Ecol Func, Calcada Martim de Freitas, P-3000456 Coimbra, Portugal.
e-mail address danimontesinos@gmail.com
funding agency and grant number Conselleria de Infraestructura, Territori i Medi Ambient, Generalitat Valenciana, Spain
funding text We especially thank Patricio Garcia-Fayos and Miguel Verdu for their advice and for granting us the use of the LCi and Scholander chamber. We also thank Maria Verdu and Esther Lorente, from Vaersa, for their help on the field sites and Lucia DeSoto for suggestions and corrections. This work was supported by Conselleria de Infraestructura, Territori i Medi Ambient, Generalitat Valenciana, Spain.
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cited reference count 50
publisher city OTTAWA
publisher address 65 AURIGA DR, SUITE 203, OTTAWA, ON K2E 7W6, CANADA
issn 0045-5067
29-character source abbreviation CAN J FOREST RES
iso source abbreviation Can. J. For. Res.
publication date JUN
year published 2015
volume 45
issue 6
beginning page 764
ending page 769
digital object identifier (doi) 10.1139/cjfr-2014-0468
page count 6
web of science category Forestry
subject category Forestry
document delivery number CJ5TR
unique article identifier WOS:000355553400017
file montesinosfabado2015landusejuniperuscjfr.pdf
link http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/cjfr-2014-0468
CFE authors
Daniel Montesinos