Loading...
Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Short- and long-term responses of oak in Submediterranean region to extreme weather events using a tree-anatomical analysis and ecophysiological measurements

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.01.01  Biotechnical sciences  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Forest - forestry 

Code Science Field
B310  Biomedical sciences  Physiology of vascular plants 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Keywords
Quercus pubescens, climate-growth relations, radial growth, tree anatomy, mycorrhizal fungi, modeling
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (25)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  29875  Marko Bajc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technical associate  2016 - 2018  280 
2.  28856  PhD Gabrielle I. Deckmyn  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  48 
3.  24416  PhD Klemen Eler  Biology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  306 
4.  29164  PhD Mitja Ferlan  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2017  222 
5.  21242  PhD Tine Grebenc  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2018  485 
6.  22609  PhD Jožica Gričar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Head  2016 - 2018  538 
7.  29633  PhD Polona Hafner  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  159 
8.  28855  Melita Hrenko    Technical associate  2016 - 2018 
9.  19106  PhD Miha Humar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  1,320 
10.  29831  Špela Jagodic    Technical associate  2016 - 2018 
11.  07127  PhD Hojka Kraigher  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  1,331 
12.  17333  Robert Krajnc    Technical associate  2016 - 2018  56 
13.  37418  PhD Martina Lavrič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  34 
14.  28503  PhD Boštjan Lesar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  481 
15.  11595  PhD Tomislav Levanič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  614 
16.  37938  PhD Tijana Martinović  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technical associate  2016 - 2018  36 
17.  24268  PhD Tanja Mrak  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  127 
18.  32045  PhD Simon Poljanšek  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2017  45 
19.  31877  PhD Nataša Šibanc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018  85 
20.  32771  PhD Ines Štraus  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  52 
21.  24777  Barbara Štupar    Technical associate  2016 - 2018  29 
22.  33176  PhD Nejc Thaler  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018  129 
23.  14011  PhD Dominik Vodnik  Biology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  415 
24.  30892  PhD Saša Zavadlav  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2017  50 
25.  28401  PhD Peter Železnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  188 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  11,988 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,215 
Abstract
Climate change and the subsequent increase in frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events, such as drought, heat waves, frosts and flooding, will create unprecedented climate-caused stress on trees and forest ecosystems, which can eventually lead to the decline of individual tree species and degradation of forests. Particularly, the rear-edge populations in the distribution range of species are under threat and require both observational and experimental focus especially on effects of the extreme events and less to the longer-term trends in rainfall, temperature, etc. Thus, to evaluate the response of trees to environmental conditions the knowledge of structural and physiological changes in the tree is crucial.   Pubescent oak (Quercus pubescens Willd.) occurs in habitats where drought is the main environmental constraint that vegetation has to withstand. In the project, we will evaluate the response of pubescent oak in the Submediterranean region to drought events by the following objectives: (1) Effects of drought on the radial growth of trees, wood structure and xylo- and phloemogenesis in different tree parts; (2) The effects on physiological and biochemical processes and the allocation of assimilates within the trees; (3) The effects on the tree-mycorrhizal fungi interaction.   Research on will be divided into two parts: (1) Analyses of inter-annual tree growth response to climatic conditions using tree-ring series. It will include dendroclimatological and wood-anatomical analyses where sampling will be performed at six locations. (2) Analyses of intra-annual structural / functional tree growth response to drought. Tree-anatomical / ecophysiological / mycorrhizal studies will be conducted during two consecutive growing seasons. This part will include rainfall manipulation experiment, which will induce drought stress to the investigated trees.   In order to facilitate the work, the project will be organized in five working groups (WGs). WG 1 is supporting WG connected with the management and visibility of the project, whereas WG 2–5 are related to the content of the project. The proposed research subject is interdisciplinary; therefore the project activities will be carried out by researchers from the following domestic and foreign research institutions: (a) Slovenian Forestry Institute; (b) University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty (Dept. of Agronomy & Dept. of Wood Science and Technology); (c) Ghent University, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Belgium and (d) Nicolaus Copernicus University, Faculty of Biology and Environment Protection, Poland.   Main results: Inter-annual and intra-annual responses of individual tree to climatic varaibles (drought)  in combination with models will allow us to quantify the water and carbon relations that underlie tree functioning. From analyses of intra-annual tree-ring series, delayed tree response (adaptation, decline or mortality) to drought events will be possible to detect. Integrative approach by linking dendroecology, tree anatomy, ecophysiology and mycology methodologies will allow us to better understand tree performance and forests functioning in a changing environment. Coordinated long-term experiments, process studies, and modeling would help us to better quantify functional-structural tree response to a drought event at different time scales. New techniques and novel approaches will open new ways for studying the environmental information in tree structure.   Climate change poses challenges for forestry management and practices to find how best to maintain forests under aggravated climatic conditions. The results of the proposed project will help us to clarify the strategies and advantages of adaptation of pubescent oak and its symbionts as well as its ability to survive in changing environmental conditions, and will lead to adapted forest management recommendations for Slovenian and other (Sub)Mediterranean regions.
Significance for science
In drought-prone environments, such as Mediterranean, water shortages are likely to become a major factor limiting species distribution and establishment in the near future (UN-ECE 2012, IPCC 2013). An increased understanding of plant function in drought conditions is highly relevant to biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology, as plants make up over 90 % of the living biomass stock, and the carbon stored in the highly ligni?ed cells of trees is a crucial component in the global carbon cycle (Denman et al. 2007).   The results of the proposed project are crucial for understanding of plasticity of secondary growth of selected tree species in different environmental conditions and their long-term responses to extreme weather events. The results will supplement our knowledge on: Effects of drought on the radial growth of trees, wood structure and wood and phloem formation patterns from in different tree parts; The effects of drought on physiological and biochemical processes and the allocation of assimilates within the trees; The effects of drought on the tree-mycorrhizal fungi interaction; Inter-annual and intra-annual responses of individual tree to climatic variables (drought) in combination with models will allow us to quantify the water and carbon relations that underlie tree functioning; We will attempt to evaluate delayed response of trees (tree adaptation, decline or mortality) to drought events using intra-annual tree-ring series, carbohydrate storage and phenology; Integrative approach by linking dendroecology, tree anatomy, ecophysiology and mycology methodologies will allow us to better assess tree performance and forests functioning in a changing environment; Coordinated long-term experiments, process studies, and modeling would help us to better quantify functional-structural tree responses to a drought event at different time scales; New techniques and novel approaches which will enable us to open new ways for studying the environmental regulation of tree functioning; Once published, data will be available to the interested public.
Significance for the country
Slovenia has rich water resources, although they are not spatially uniformly distributed. Longer periods of drought appear in Slovenia at the end of winter and in spring, however summer droughts are much more problematic due to faster evaporation. Summer droughts caused a great deal of damage to agriculture, and in places threatened sources of drinking water. Particularly SW and NE parts of Slovenia are prone to drought impacts. Thus, drought occurrences necessitate a careful monitoring of drought evolution, its severity and its spatial extent. More frequent and more intense droughts impose further functioning of the ecosystems in question. In addition to the direct drought and heat induced tree injuries and mortality some important secondary effects such as increased incidence and severity of fires and pest outbreaks are expected.   Understanding the factors governing the response of biodiversity to extreme weather events will increase our ability to predict the future behaviour of ecosystems. At global and national scales, such complementary and integrative studies between the environmental factors and structural-functional tree responses are missing. The results are thus original and shall contribute to global understanding of drought-induced stress physiology and ecosystem functioning at different scales in above- and below-ground parts of dry oak forests. Event-based research on weather extremes will contribute substantially to the debate as to whether local weather extremes are relevant to the public and political community at large spatial scales and with long-term ecological impacts. Collaborative scientific efforts will contribute to our understanding of the role of biodiversity in the performance and resilience of vital ecosystem processes, goods, and services in the face of extreme climatic events.     Climate change poses challenges for forestry management and practices to find how best to maintain forests under aggravated climatic conditions. The results of the proposed project will help us to clarify the strategies and advantages of adaptation of pubescent oak and its symbionts as well as its ability to survive in changing environmental conditions, and shall lead to adapted forest management recommendations for Slovenian and other (Sub)Mediterranean regions. Thus, knowledge of factual data will contribute to a better strategic decision-making at the regional and national levels.   The proposed topic is in line with the objectives of: 1) Slovenian adaptation strategies of agriculture and forestry to climate change, 2) the National Forest Programme, and 3) Strategies of the European Commission Europe 2020 on the green economy.
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
Views history
Favourite