Key message: In Abies alba Mill. (silver fir), the frequency of intra-annual density fluctuations (IADFs) increases along the latitudinal transect, from North to South, is higher in pure than in mixed stands, and their formation is linked to spring and/or summer drought conditions. Abstract: Trees respond to climate, recording information in tree rings and their anatomical features, such as IADFs. The IADFs are regions within the tree ring where density changes in response to tree physiological processes and environmental conditions. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of different forest-stand structures and of climate on IADF formation and frequency in populations of silver fir along a latitudinal gradient in Italy (Trentino, Molise and Calabria regions). In doing so, we aimed to compare the frequency of IADFs in pure or mixed stands and to understand the ability of silver fir to cope with environmental fluctuations. Results showed higher frequency of IADFs in pure than mixed stands (in Trentino and Calabria) and in younger trees (namely in the pure stand in Calabria), because of the higher sensitivity to environmental variability. The formation of IADFs in silver fir emerged as a response to cope with drought. Summer precipitation (both pure and mixed stands in Trentino) and early spring/summer (both pure and mixed stands in Calabria) played a key role in the formation of IADF-type E+. The formation of IADF-type L+, on the other hand, was related to temperature/precipitation in late summer and early autumn (both pure and mixed stands in Molise) and to precipitation in summer (pure stand in Calabria). Our findings support the theory that IADFs are an important structural/functional mechanism for responding to climate fluctuations.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00468-021-02162-3|
|Titolo:||Intra-annual density fluctuations in silver fir are triggered by drought conditions|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|