RenardMcIntireFajardo2016

Reference

Renard, S.M., McIntire, E.J.B. and Fajardo, A. (2016) Winter conditions - not summer temperature - influence establishment of seedlings at white spruce alpine treeline in Eastern Quebec. Journal of Vegetation Science, 27(1):29-39. (Scopus )

Abstract

Aims: While treeline positions are globally correlated to growing season temperatures, seedling establishment, an important process of alpine treeline dynamics, is additionally controlled by regional-scale factors such as snow cover duration, desiccating winds and biotic interactions. Knowing that alpine treelines have shown contrasting responses to climate change, we determined the relative importance of key abiotic and biotic factors involved in seedling survival and growth. Location: McGerrigle Mountains, Parc National de la Gaspésie, Appalachian Range, eastern Quebec, Canada. Methods: In two white spruce (Picea glauca) treeline sites, we used the microclimate in the vicinity of tree islands, densely packed clusters of trees isolated from each other by alpine tundra vegetation, to assess the effects of abiotic variables (sum of degree days [DD], snowpack duration and a wind exposure index) as well as the effects of biotic interactions with neighbouring vegetation on the survival and growth of transplanted white spruce seedlings. For 3 yr, we surveyed seedling survival twice a year to discriminate between winter and summer survival, and measured seedling growth at the end of each growing season. We used Bayesian hierarchical models to estimate the relative effects of covariates on survival and growth. Results: Survival probability decreased in microsites where winter DD was high, and increased in microsites with longer snowpack duration. In wind-exposed microsites, seedling survival increased when neighbouring vegetation was present, indicating facilitative mechanisms. Seedling growth was positively affected by the duration of snow cover and tended to increase with higher DD during the previous year. In wind-sheltered microsites, seedling growth tended to be negatively affected by neighbouring vegetation, indicating competitive mechanisms. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that seedling establishment is more sensitive to winter conditions, notably to the length of snow cover (which protects seedlings from frost and desiccation), than to summer temperature. Biotic interactions increased seedling establishment when environmental stresses were higher. We suggest that regional-scale factors such as winter climate and biotic interactions should be included in modelling exercises to improve future treeline location forecasts. © 2016 International Association for Vegetation Science.

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@ARTICLE { RenardMcIntireFajardo2016,
    AUTHOR = { Renard, S.M. and McIntire, E.J.B. and Fajardo, A. },
    TITLE = { Winter conditions - not summer temperature - influence establishment of seedlings at white spruce alpine treeline in Eastern Quebec },
    JOURNAL = { Journal of Vegetation Science },
    YEAR = { 2016 },
    VOLUME = { 27 },
    NUMBER = { 1 },
    PAGES = { 29-39 },
    NOTE = { cited By 8 },
    ABSTRACT = { Aims: While treeline positions are globally correlated to growing season temperatures, seedling establishment, an important process of alpine treeline dynamics, is additionally controlled by regional-scale factors such as snow cover duration, desiccating winds and biotic interactions. Knowing that alpine treelines have shown contrasting responses to climate change, we determined the relative importance of key abiotic and biotic factors involved in seedling survival and growth. Location: McGerrigle Mountains, Parc National de la Gaspésie, Appalachian Range, eastern Quebec, Canada. Methods: In two white spruce (Picea glauca) treeline sites, we used the microclimate in the vicinity of tree islands, densely packed clusters of trees isolated from each other by alpine tundra vegetation, to assess the effects of abiotic variables (sum of degree days [DD], snowpack duration and a wind exposure index) as well as the effects of biotic interactions with neighbouring vegetation on the survival and growth of transplanted white spruce seedlings. For 3 yr, we surveyed seedling survival twice a year to discriminate between winter and summer survival, and measured seedling growth at the end of each growing season. We used Bayesian hierarchical models to estimate the relative effects of covariates on survival and growth. Results: Survival probability decreased in microsites where winter DD was high, and increased in microsites with longer snowpack duration. In wind-exposed microsites, seedling survival increased when neighbouring vegetation was present, indicating facilitative mechanisms. Seedling growth was positively affected by the duration of snow cover and tended to increase with higher DD during the previous year. In wind-sheltered microsites, seedling growth tended to be negatively affected by neighbouring vegetation, indicating competitive mechanisms. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that seedling establishment is more sensitive to winter conditions, notably to the length of snow cover (which protects seedlings from frost and desiccation), than to summer temperature. Biotic interactions increased seedling establishment when environmental stresses were higher. We suggest that regional-scale factors such as winter climate and biotic interactions should be included in modelling exercises to improve future treeline location forecasts. © 2016 International Association for Vegetation Science. },
    AFFILIATION = { Département des Sciences du Bois et de la Forêt - Université Laval, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Québec, QC, Canada; Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, 506 Burnside Road W., Victoria, BC, Canada; Centro de Investigación en Ecosistemas de la Patagonia (CIEP) Conicyt-Regional R10C1003, Universidad Austral de Chile, Camino Baguales s/n, Coyhaique, Chile },
    AUTHOR_KEYWORDS = { Picea glauca; Alpine treeline ecotone; Climate change; Eastern Quebec; Facilitation; Krummholz; Seedling establishment; Snow cover; Tree islands; Treeline position; White spruce },
    DOCUMENT_TYPE = { Article },
    DOI = { 10.1111/jvs.12347 },
    SOURCE = { Scopus },
    URL = { https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84953233927&doi=10.1111%2fjvs.12347&partnerID=40&md5=3fb75aaa8b04ddcdc6a705f3754616a2 },
}

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