Effects of an extremely dry winter on net ecosystem carbon exchange and tree phenology at a cork oak woodland - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Year : 2015

Effects of an extremely dry winter on net ecosystem carbon exchange and tree phenology at a cork oak woodland

Abstract

In seasonally dry climates, such as the Mediterranean, lack of rainfall in the usually wet winter may originate severe droughts which are a main cause of inter-annual variation in carbon sequestration. Leaf phenology variability may alter the seasonal pattern of photosynthetic uptake, which in turn is deter- mined by leaf gas exchange limitations. The current study is based on the monitoring of an extremely dry winter in an evergreen cork oak woodland under the Mediterranean climate of central Portugal. Results are focused on net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), phenology and tree growth measurements during two contrasting years: 2011, a wet year with a typical summer drought pattern and 2012, with an extremely unusual dry winter (only 10 mm of total rainfall) that exacerbated the following summer drought effects. Main aims of this study were to assess the effects of an extreme dry winter in (1) annual and seasonal net ecosystem CO2 exchange, and in (2) cork oak phenology. The dry year 2012 was marked by a 45% lower carbon sequestration (−214 vs. −388 g C m−2 year−1 ) and a 63% lower annual tree diameter growth but only a 9% lower leaf area index compared to the wet year 2011. A significant reduction of 15% in yearly carbon sequestration was associated with leaf phenological events of canopy renewal in the early spring. In contrast to male flower production, fruit setting was severely depressed by water stress with a 54% decrease during the dry year. Our results suggest that leaf growth and leaf area maintenance are resilient ecophysiological processes under winter drought and are a priority carbon sink for photoassimilates in contrast to tree diameter growth. Thus, carbon sequestration reductions under low water availabilities in cork oak woodland should be ascribed to stomatal regulation or photosynthetic limitations and to a lesser extent to leaf area reductions.

Dates and versions

hal-02632262 , version 1 (27-05-2020)

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Filipe Costa E Silva, Alexandra C Correia, Arndt Piayda, Maren Dubbert, Corinna Rebmann, et al.. Effects of an extremely dry winter on net ecosystem carbon exchange and tree phenology at a cork oak woodland. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 2015, 204, pp.48-57. ⟨10.1016/j.agrformet.2015.01.017⟩. ⟨hal-02632262⟩

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