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Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain

Mand P.,University of Tartu | Hallik L.,Estonian University of Life Sciences | Penuelas J.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB | Kull O.,University of Tartu
Tree Physiology | Year: 2013

We investigated changes in chlorophyll a fluorescence from alternate leaf surfaces to assess the intraleaf light acclimation patterns in combination with natural variations in radiation, leaf angles, leaf mass per area (LMA), chlorophyll content (Chl) and leaf optical parameters. Measurements were conducted on bottom- and top-layer leaves of Tilia cordata Mill. (a shadetolerant sub-canopy species, sampled at heights of 11 and 16 m) and Populus tremula L. (a light-demanding upper canopy species, sampled at canopy heights of 19 and 26 m). The upper canopy species P. tremula had a six times higher PSII quantum yield (ΦII) and ratio of open reaction centres (qP), and a two times higher LMA than T. cordata. These species-specific differences were also present when the leaves of both species were in similar light conditions. Leaf adaxial/abaxial fluorescence ratio was significantly larger in the case of more horizontal leaves. Populus tremula (more vertical leaves), had smaller differences in fluorescence parameters between alternate leaf sides compared with T. cordata (more horizontal leaves). However, optical properties on alternate leaf sides showed a larger difference for P. tremula. Intraspecifically, the measured optical parameters were better correlated with LMA than with leaf Chl. Species-specific differences in leaf anatomy appear to enhance the photosynthetic potential of leaf biochemistry by decreasing the interception of excess light in P. tremula and increasing the light absorptance in T. cordata. Our results indicate that intraleaf light absorption gradient, described here as leaf adaxial/abaxial side ratio of chlorophyll a fluorescence, varies significantly with changes in leaf light environment in a multi-layer multi-species tree canopy. However, this variation cannot be described merely as a simple function of radiation, leaf angle, Chl or LMA, and species-specific differences in light acclimation strategies should also be considered. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Carnicer J.,University of Groningen | Penuelas J.,CREAF | Penuelas J.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB
Energy Policy | Year: 2012

The global financial system is a major component of our global society. The available analyses of sustainability, however, have poorly assessed the role of the financial system in scenarios of future global change. Here we contrast current global flows in the financial system with the future economic costs of a worldwide transition to renewable energies under the baseline and 450. ppm scenarios for emissions of greenhouse gases proposed by the IPCC. We show that annual global financial flows are three orders of magnitude greater than the annual economic costs of policies for global sustainability. A small global tax on financial transactions of 0.05% could thus provide the required funds for the deployment of renewable energies. To assess the roles of the financial sector in future policies for sustainability, we identified 14 key international actors and enumerated 16 key policies for sustainability that should be implemented to achieve effective global ecological and financial sustainability. We conclude that the proposed structural reforms to the financial system are essential steps urgently required for financing a global transition to a sustainable economy. Consequently, we suggest that the international scientific community should urgently pursue an academic consensus on policy recommendations for the financial sector. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Penuelas J.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB | Asensio D.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB | Tholl D.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Wenke K.,University of Rostock | And 3 more authors.
Plant, Cell and Environment | Year: 2014

Volatile compounds are usually associated with an appearance/presence in the atmosphere. Recent advances, however, indicated that the soil is a huge reservoir and source of biogenic volatile organic compounds (bVOCs), which are formed from decomposing litter and dead organic material or are synthesized by underground living organism or organs and tissues of plants. This review summarizes the scarce available data on the exchange of VOCs between soil and atmosphere and the features of the soil and particle structure allowing diffusion of volatiles in the soil, which is the prerequisite for biological VOC-based interactions. In fact, soil may function either as a sink or as a source of bVOCs. Soil VOC emissions to the atmosphere are often 1-2 (0-3) orders of magnitude lower than those from aboveground vegetation. Microorganisms and the plant root system are the major sources for bVOCs. The current methodology to detect belowground volatiles is described as well as the metabolic capabilities resulting in the wealth of microbial and root VOC emissions. Furthermore, VOC profiles are discussed as non-destructive fingerprints for the detection of organisms. In the last chapter, belowground volatile-based bi- and multi-trophic interactions between microorganisms, plants and invertebrates in the soil are discussed. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Barbeta A.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB | Ogaya R.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB | Penuelas J.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013

Forests respond to increasing intensities and frequencies of drought by reducing growth and with higher tree mortality rates. Little is known, however, about the long-term consequences of generally drier conditions and more frequent extreme droughts. A Holm oak forest was exposed to experimental rainfall manipulation for 13 years to study the effect of increasing drought on growth and mortality of the dominant species Quercus ilex, Phillyrea latifolia, and Arbutus unedo. The drought treatment reduced stem growth of A. unedo (-66.5%) and Q. ilex (-17.5%), whereas P. latifolia remained unaffected. Higher stem mortality rates were noticeable in Q. ilex (+42.3%), but not in the other two species. Stem growth was a function of the drought index of early spring in the three species. Stem mortality rates depended on the drought index of winter and spring for Q. ilex and in spring and summer for P. latifolia, but showed no relation to climate in A. unedo. Following a long and intense drought (2005-2006), stem growth of Q. ilex and P. latifolia increased, whereas it decreased in A. unedo. Q. ilex also enhanced its survival after this period. Furthermore, the effect of drought treatment on stem growth in Q. ilex and A. unedo was attenuated as the study progressed. These results highlight the different vulnerabilities of Mediterranean species to more frequent and intense droughts, which may lead to partial species substitution and changes in forest structure and thus in carbon uptake. The response to drought, however, changed over time. Decreased intra- and interspecific competition after extreme events with high mortality, together with probable morphological and physiological acclimation to drought during the study period, may, at least in the short term, buffer forests against drier conditions. The long-term effects of drought consequently deserve more attention, because the ecosystemic responses are unlikely to be stable over time.Nontechnical summaryIn this study, we evaluate the effect of long-term (13 years) experimental drought on growth and mortality rates of three forest Mediterranean species, and their response to the different intensities and durations of natural drought. We provide evidence for species-specific responses to drought, what may eventually lead to a partial community shift favoring the more drought-resistant species. However, we also report a dampening of the treatment effect on the two drought-sensitive species, which may indicate a potential adaptation to drier conditions at the ecosystem or population level. These results are thus relevant to account for the stabilizing processes that would alter the initial response of ecosystem to drought through changes in plant physiology, morphology, and demography compensation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Farre-Armengol G.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB | Filella I.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB | Llusia J.,Global Ecology Unit CREAF CEAB CSIC UAB | Niinemets U.,Estonian University of Life Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2014

We addressed the potential effects of changes in ambient temperature on the profiles of volatile emissions from flowers and tested whether warming could induce significant quantitative and qualitative changes in floral emissions, which would potentially interfere with plant-pollinator chemical communication. We measured the temperature responses of floral emissions of various common species of Mediterranean plants using dynamic headspace sampling and used GC-MS to identify and quantify the emitted terpenes. Floral emissions increased with temperature to an optimum and thereafter decreased. The responses to temperature modeled here predicted increases in the rates of floral terpene emission of 0.03-1.4-fold, depending on the species, in response to an increase of 1 °C in the mean global ambient temperature. Under the warmest projections that predict a maximum increase of 5 °C in the mean temperature of Mediterranean climates in the Northern Hemisphere by the end of the century, our models predicted increases in the rates of floral terpene emissions of 0.34-9.1-fold, depending on the species. The species with the lowest emission rates had the highest relative increases in floral terpene emissions with temperature increases of 1-5 °C. The response of floral emissions to temperature differed among species and among different compounds within the species. Warming not only increased the rates of total emissions, but also changed the ratios among compounds that constituted the floral scents, i.e. increased the signal for pollinators, but also importantly altered the signal fidelity and probability of identification by pollinators, especially for specialists with a strong reliance on species-specific floral blends. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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