Assessing 33 Forest Species tolerance and associated risk for growth and survival in Reinfforce arboreta along Atlantic climate gradient

14:00 Tuesday 28 May


Room S11


António Henrique Correia (Portugal) 1; Maria Helena Almeida (Portugal) 1; Christophe Orazio (France) 2; Margarida Tomé (Portugal) 1; Manuela Branco (Portugal) 1

1 - Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa; 2 - EFI Planted Forests facility

One of the foremost concerns about forest adaptation to climate change is the selection of material resilient/ capable of adapting to future climate. The current available information, originated from models that do not account for species/provenance plasticity, nor for behaviour at more extreme conditions, only observable outside current species distribution, beyond the marginal growth areas, adds uncertainty to selection procedures.

Can we identify from the presently used species and provenances those more tolerant to climate change, capable of providing better performance when subjected to future climate conditions, or provide alternative to replace the more susceptible material?

In order to address these questions about plant response to Climate Change conditions, REINFFORCE arboreta network (38 arboreta, located along a wide range of climatic conditions, from latitude 37° to 58° N) proposed to improve our understanding on 33 forest species’ field performance, through a common monitoring protocol and a database that brings together all the data. This will allow reducing the uncertainty of species behaviour predictions in response to Climate Change, assessing adaptation measures for Atlantic forest resources and contributing for a successful selection of Forest Reproductive Material.

REINFFORCE arboreta network first data analysis revealed that Site climate and Climate transfer difference have different impact on early plant development. Site Annual and Growing Season Dryness Index (√(Growing degree-days) / Precipitation) showed to be significant for Yearly Height growth explanation. For survival explanation, only climate transfer distance variables for Annual and Growing Season Dryness Index, Growing Season Precipitation, Mean Maximum and Minimum Temperature were significant.

Within the studied climate gradient, we have identified species response trends, and from the 33 species, the best and worst performing ones. Additionally, we determined the associated risk for using each species within RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, for mid to long term periods.