Species mixing reduces drought susceptibility of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and oak (Quercus robur L., Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) – Site water supply and fertility modify the mixing effect

M. Steckel , Miren del Rio , M. Heym , J. Aldea , K. Bielak , G. Brazaitis , J. Černý , L. Coll , C. Collet , M. Ehbrecht , A. Jansons , A. Nothdurft , Maciej Pach , M. Pardos , Quentin Ponette , D.O.J. Reventlow , R. Sitko , Miroslav Svoboda , Patrick Vallet , B. Wolff , H. Pretzsch


Tree species mixing has been widely promoted as a promising silvicultural tool for reducing drought stress. However, so far only a limited number of species combinations have been studied in detail, revealing inconsistent results. In this study, we analysed the effect of mixing Scots pine and oak (pedunculate oak and sessile oak) trees on their drought response along a comprehensive ecological gradient across Europe. The objective was to improve our knowledge of general drought response patterns of two fundamental European tree species in mixed versus monospecific stands. We focused on three null hypotheses: () tree drought response does not differ between Scots pine and oak, () tree drought response of Scots pine and oak is not affected by stand composition (mixture versus monoculture) and () tree drought response of Scots pine and oak in mixtures and monocultures is not modified by tree size or site conditions. To test the hypotheses, we analysed increment cores of Scots pine and oak, sampled in mixed and monospecific stands, covering a wide range of site conditions. We investigated resistance (the ability to maintain growth levels during drought), recovery (the ability to restore a level of growth after drought) and resilience (the capacity to recover to pre-drought growth levels), involving site-specific drought events that occurred between 1976 and 2015. In monocultures, oak showed a higher resistance and resilience than Scots pine, while recovery was lower. Scots pine in mixed stands exhibited a higher resistance, but also a lower recovery compared with Scots pine in monocultures. Mixing increased the resistance and resilience of oak. Ecological factors such as tree size, site water supply and site fertility were found to have significant effects on the drought response. In the case of Scots pine, resistance was increased by tree size, while recovery was lowered. Resistance of oak increased with site water supply. The observed mixing effect on the tree drought response of Scots pine and oak was in some cases modified by the site conditions studied. Positive mixing effects in terms of resistance and resilience of oak increased with site water supply, while the opposite was found regarding recovery. In contrast, site fertility lessened the positive mixing effect on the resistance of Scots pine. We hypothesise that the observed positive mixing effects under drought mainly result from water- and/or light-related species interactions that improve resource availability and uptake according to temporal and spatial variations in environmental conditions.
Author M. Steckel
M. Steckel,,
, Miren del Rio
Miren del Rio,,
, M. Heym
M. Heym,,
, J. Aldea
J. Aldea,,
, K. Bielak
K. Bielak,,
, G. Brazaitis
G. Brazaitis,,
, J. Černý
J. Černý,,
, L. Coll
L. Coll,,
, C. Collet
C. Collet,,
, M. Ehbrecht
M. Ehbrecht,,
et al.`
Journal seriesForest Ecology and Management, ISSN 0378-1127, e-ISSN 1872-7042, (N/A 200 pkt)
Issue year2020
Article number117908
Keywords in EnglishComplementarity, Drought stress, Ecological gradient, Facilitation, Recovery, Resilience, Resistance, SPEI
ASJC Classification1107 Forestry; 2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law; 2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112719323643?via%3Dihub
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)200
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 1; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.478; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 3.126 (2) - 2018=3.601 (5)
Citation count*
Additional fields
FinansowanieThis work was supported by the European Union as part of the ERANet SUMFOREST project REFORM – Mixed species forest management. Lowering risk, increasing resilience (2816ERA02S, PCIN2017-026) and the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 778322. All contributors thank their national funding institutions for supporting the establishment, mensuration and analysis of the studied triplets. The first author wants to thank the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) for financial support through the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) (grant number 2816ERA02S), as well as the Bayerische Staatsforsten (BaySF) and Landesbetrieb Forst Brandenburg for providing suitable research sites. Research on the Lithuanian triplets (LT 1, LT 2) was made possible by the national funding institution Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT) (agreement number S-SUMFOREST-17- 1). The French site FR 1 belongs to the OPTMix experimental site (https://optmix.irstea.fr), which is supported annually by Ecofor, Allenvi, and the French national research infrastructure ANAEE-F. A special thank is due to Peter Biber for supporting the statistical analysis.
Share Share

Get link to the record

* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
Are you sure?