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Phytoclimatic Dynamics of Mediterranean Forests under Climate Change. A Case Study in a Southern European Pinus sylvestris L. Stand

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DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2013.43A084    4,535 Downloads   6,223 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Some effects of climate change on the composition and competitive capacity of southern European Pinus sylvestris L. forests in the Mediterranean basin were evaluated. The variation over the period 1910-2008 through 30-year mobile averages of a Phytoclimatic Suitability Index (PSI) of the main tree species of the forest cover are used to indicate the competitive hierarchy of Pinus sylvestris and Fagus sylvatica L. The methodology was applied at a specific location on the Spanish south-facing slopes of the Pyrenees mountain range in the Iberian Peninsula, where the increase in the average temperature was 1.4?C in the period of observation. The results indicated that the apparent equilibrium between the two species studied changed from the 1934-1963 average. Due to the loss of competitive capacity of Scots pine with respect to European beech, particularly from the years 1970-1999, the model predicted an inversion of the situation as it was up until now, so that beech had a higher PSI than pine. The phytoclimatic approach proposed here offers new methodological horizons for the study of the effects of climate change on the future of the forests.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

J. García-López and C. Allué, "Phytoclimatic Dynamics of Mediterranean Forests under Climate Change. A Case Study in a Southern European Pinus sylvestris L. Stand," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 3A, 2013, pp. 655-662. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.43A084.

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