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Bioclimatic model of tree radial growth: application to the French Mediterranean Aleppo pine forests

Abstract : The potential effects of global changes on forests are of increasing concern. Dendrochronology, which deals with long-term records of tree growth under natural environmental conditions, can be used to evaluate the impact of climatic change on forest productivity. However, assessment of climatic change impacts must be supported by accurate and reliable models of the relationships between climate and tree growth. In this study, a bioclimatic model is used to explore the relationships between tree radial growth and bioclimatic variables closely related to the biological functioning of a tree. This model is at an intermediate level of complexity between purely empirical and process-based models. The method is illustrated with data for 21 Aleppo pine ( Pinus halepensis Mill.) stands grown under a Mediterranean climate in south-east France. The results show that Aleppo pine growth is mainly controlled by soil water availability during the growing season. The bioclimatic variable which best expresses the observed inter-annual tree growth variations is the actual evapotranspiration (AET). Four parameters were adjusted to simulate dendrochronological data: the soil water capacity, the wilting point, the minimum temperature for photosynthesis, and the end of the growing season. The bioclimatic model gives better results than the standard response function and provides better insight into the functional processes involved in tree growth. The convincing results obtained by the bioclimatic model as well as the limited numbers of parameters it requires demonstrate the feasibility of using it to explore future climatic change impacts on Aleppo pine forests..
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Contributor : Joel Guiot <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 6, 2017 - 3:20:05 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 16, 2020 - 9:24:02 AM

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Cyrille Rathgeber, L Misson, A Nicault, Joel Guiot. Bioclimatic model of tree radial growth: application to the French Mediterranean Aleppo pine forests. Trees - Structure and Function, Springer Verlag, 2005, 19 (2), pp.162-176. ⟨10.1007/s00468-004-0378-z⟩. ⟨hal-01457695⟩



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