The effect of rainfall and competition intensity on forest response to drought: lessons learned from a dry extreme Academic Article uri icon


  • We investigated forest responses to global warming by observing:(1) planted Pinus halepensis forests,(2) an aridity gradient—with annual precipitation (P) ranging from~ 300 to~ 700 mm, and (3) periods of wet and dry climate that included the driest period during at least the last 110 years. We examined:(1) how the length of climatic integration periods to which trees are most responsive varies in space and time,(2) the extent to which competition modulates growth decline during drought (2011) and subsequent recovery (2012) years. The temporal scale of rainfall that was most influential on growth shortened in progressing southward, and in the drier than in the wetter period. Long-term underground water storage, as reflected in the relationship of growth to multiple-year rainfall, remained significant up to the point where P≈ 500 mm. Under drier conditions (P< 500 mm) in both space and time …

publication date

  • January 1, 2015