Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias

A Coruña, Spain

Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias

A Coruña, Spain
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Aranda I.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias | Rodriguez-Calcerrada J.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Rodriguez-Calcerrada J.,Technical University of Madrid | Robson T.M.,University of Helsinki | And 3 more authors.
Forest Systems | Year: 2012

Limitations to diffusion and biochemical factors affecting leaf carbon uptake were analyzed in young beech seedlings (Fagus sylvtica L.) growing in natural gaps of a beech-wood at the southern limit of the species. Half of the seedlings received periodic watering in addition to natural rainfall to reduce the severity of the summer drought. Plant water status was evaluated by measuring predawn water potential. Basic biochemical parameters were inferred from chlorophyll fluorescence and photosynthesis-CO2 curves (A-Cc) under saturating light. The curves were established on three dates during the summer months. The main variables studied included: stomatal and mesophyll conductance to CO2 (gs and gm respectively), maximum velocity of carboxylation (Vcmax) and maximum electron transport capacity (Jmax). The gm was estimated by two methodologies: the curve-fitting and J constant methosds. Seedlings withstood moderate water stress, as the leaf predawn water potential (Ψpd) measured during the study was within the range -0.2 to -0.5 MPa. Mild drought caused gs and gm to decrease only slightly in response to Ψpd. However both diffusional parameters explained most of the limitations to CO2 uptake. In addition, it should be high-lighted that biochemical limitations, prompted by Vcmax and Jmax, were related mainly to ontogenic factors, without any clear relationship with drought under the moderate water stress experienced by beech seedlings through the study. The results may help to further understanding of the functional mechanisms influencing the carbon fixation capacity of beech seedlings under natural conditions.

Robson T.M.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias | Robson T.M.,University of Helsinki | Rasztovits E.,University of West Hungary | Aphalo P.J.,University of Helsinki | And 2 more authors.
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2013

European beech (Fagus sylvatica) reaches the south-western limit of its distribution in northern Spain, beyond which the Mediterranean climate is thought to restrict further expansion of the species range. Consequently, current and future climate change in the region is expected to push back the range margin and threaten the survival of local beech populations. In a provenance trial of pan-European beech populations growing under harsh conditions in La Rioja, we tested whether associations between the timing of spring phenology assessed over three years affected the performance of beeches at the site, and whether they exhibited a trade off between growth rate and survival. In particular, we considered whether the relationship between performance under conditions of summer drought and spring frost at the trial site was dependent on the climate at the site of provenance origin. We report that early-flushing provenances from continental climates in the south-east and parts of central Europe were among the tallest after ten years of growth in the trial: for instance from Val di Sella, northern Italy (mean bud burst day 114 and height 173. cm); Gotze Delchev, Bulgaria (day 115, height 135. cm); and Aarberg, Switzerland (day 118, height 151. cm). While late-flushing provenances from maritime climates in northern and western Europe were among the shortest in the trial: for instance from Soignes, Belgium (day 124, height 73. cm); Gullmarsberg, Sweden (day 122, height 69. cm); and Bathurst Estate, southern England (day 122, height 85. cm). There was no evidence that early flushing increased the mortality of trees at the trial site. The large-scale geographical patterns in flushing strategy reflected a trade off between pre-emptive growth before the summer drought and susceptibility to late frosts. Our findings emphasise the need to conserve populations from the range edge in the south of Europe, the Balkans and western Alps, whose combination of early flushing and drought resistance may become desirable traits for the improved future performance of beech in response to climate change. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Robson T.M.,University of Helsinki | Sanchez-Gomez D.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias | Cano F.J.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias | Cano F.J.,Technical University of Madrid | Aranda I.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias
Tree Genetics and Genomes | Year: 2012

We assessed the response of 11-year-old saplings from six beech provenances growing in a common-garden trial at the southwestern range limit. Provenances from distinct climatic regions across the European beech distribution were selected. The local Spanish provenance appeared well suited to the site conditions, maintaining high rates of assimilation even in midsummer, but so did the provenance of southern continental origin, from Gotze-Delchev, Bulgaria. Those provenances from cooler sites in central Europe, a continental mountain climate in the Czech Republic and a continental range-edge site in eastern Poland, along with a German provenance of mild maritime origin, had good physiological functionality in early summer but reduced carbon assimilation (A area) and apparent soil-leaf hydraulic conductivity (K L) in midsummer. The northern maritime provenance from Sweden demonstrated severely-reduced photosynthetic capacity. These groupings of provenances according to their photosynthetic performance, stable carbon isotope composition (δ 13C; a proxy for water-use efficiency) and leaf water potential under marginal conditions, during late summer in the trial, suggest that they have divergent strategies for water use. The research highlights large intraspecific differences among beech provenances of distinct origin and strategies which are expected to modify their response to drought, requiring future genetic studies to explicitly determine the basis of this ecophysiological differentiation. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Ramirez-Valiente J.A.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias | Valladares F.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Valladares F.,Rey Juan Carlos University | Sanchez-Gomez D.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigaciones Agrarias Y Tecnologias Agroalimentarias | And 2 more authors.
Acta Oecologica | Year: 2014

A central issue in evolutionary biology is the exploration of functional trait variation among populations and the extent to which this variation has adaptive value. It was recently proposed that specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen concentration per mass (Nmass) and water use efficiency in cork oak play an important role in adaptation to water availability in the environment. In order to investigate this hypothesis, we explored, first, whether there was population-level variation in cork oak (Quercus suber) for these functional traits throughout its distribution range if this were the case, it would be consistent with the hypothesis that different rainfall patterns have led to ecotypic differentiation in this species. Second, we studied whether the population-level variation matched short-term selection on these traits under different water availability conditions using two fitness components: survival and growth. We found high population-level differentiation in SLA and Nmass, with populations from dry places exhibiting the lowest values for SLA and Nmass. Likewise, reduced SLA had fitness benefits in terms of growth for plants under dry conditions. However, contrary to our expectations, we did not find any pattern of association between functional traits and survival in nine-year-old saplings despite considerable drought during one year of the study period. These results together with findings from the literature suggest that early stages of development are the most critical period for this species. Most importantly, these findings suggest that cork oak saplings have a considerable potential to cope with dry conditions. This capacity to withstand aridity has important implications for conservation of cork oak woodlands under the ongoing climate change. © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS.

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