Interactive Effects of Abiotic Factors and Biotic Agents on Scots Pine Dieback: A Multivariate Modeling Approach in Southeast France

51 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2022

See all articles by Jean Lemaire

Jean Lemaire

Aix-Marseille University - Institut de recherche pour le développement

Michel Vennetier

INRAE Aix en Provence; Aix-Marseille University

Bernard Prévosto

Aix-Marseille University

Maxime Cailleret

Aix-Marseille University

Abstract

Forest dieback is a high risk factor for the sustainability of these ecosystems in the climate change context. Productivity losses and increased defoliation and mortality rates have already been recorded for many tree species worldwide. However, dieback is a process that depends on complex interactions between many biotic and environmental factors acting at different scales, and is thus difficult to address and predict.Our aim was to build tree- and stand-level foliar deficit models integrating biotic and abiotic factors for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), a species particularly threatened in Europe, and especially in the southeastern part of France. To this end, we quantified foliar deficit in 1740 trees from 87 plots distributed along an environmental gradient. We also measured tree annual radial growth and the abundance of two parasites: the pine processionary moth ( Thaumetopoea pityocampa Den. & Schiff.) and mistletoe (Viscum album L. ) . Topographic, soil, climate and water balance indices were assessed for each plot, together with the stand dendrometric characteristics. Given the large number of environmental factors and the strong correlations between many of them, models were developed using a partial least square (PLS) regression approach.  All the models pointed to a preponderance of the biotic factors (processionary moth and mistletoe) in explaining the intensity of foliar deficit at both tree- and stand- levels. We also show that strong interactions between climate, soil, water balance and biotic factors help to explain the intensity of dieback. Dieback was thus greater in the driest topoedaphic and climatic conditions where the mistletoe and processionary moth were present.This study highlights the need to account for a wide range of biotic and abiotic factors to explain the complex process of forest dieback, and especially the environmental variables that contribute to the water balance on the local scale. The phenomenological modeling approach presented here can be used in other regions and for other species, after a re-calibration and some adaptations to local constraints considering the limited distribution area of some biotic agents.

Keywords: Tree dieback modelingPLS regression abiotic-biotic interactionPinus sylvestris

Suggested Citation

Lemaire, Jean and Vennetier, Michel and Prévosto, Bernard and Cailleret, Maxime, Interactive Effects of Abiotic Factors and Biotic Agents on Scots Pine Dieback: A Multivariate Modeling Approach in Southeast France. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4136234 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4136234

Jean Lemaire (Contact Author)

Aix-Marseille University - Institut de recherche pour le développement ( email )

Aix-Marseille University ( email )

Bernard Prévosto

Aix-Marseille University ( email )

Maxime Cailleret

Aix-Marseille University ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
6
Abstract Views
22
PlumX Metrics