Changement climatique - Recherche française (avec laboratoires CNRS) - 2010-2015


Divergent regeneration responses of two closely related tree species to direct abiotic and indirect biotic effects of climate change

Publication Year


  • Caron, M. M.
  • De Frenne, P.
  • Brunet, J.
  • Chabrerie, O.
  • Cousins, S. A. O.
  • Decocq, G.
  • Diekmann, M.
  • Graae, B. J.
  • Heinken, T.
  • Kolb, A.
  • Lenoir, J.
  • Naaf, T.
  • Plue, J.
  • Selvi, F.
  • Wulf, M.
  • Verheyen, K.
FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT Volume: 342 Pages: 21-29 Published: 2015
0378-1127 eISSN: 1872-7042

Changing temperature and precipitation can strongly influence plant reproduction. However, also biotic interactions might indirectly affect the reproduction and recruitment success of plants in the context of climate change. Information about the interactive effects of changes in abiotic and biotic factors is essential, but still largely lacking, to better understand the potential effects of a changing climate on plant populations. Here we analyze the regeneration from seeds of Acer platanoides and Acer pseudoplatanus, two currently secondary forest tree species from seven regions along a 2200 km-wide latitudinal gradient in Europe. We assessed the germination, seedling survival and growth during two years in a common garden experiment where temperature, precipitation and competition with the understory vegetation were manipulated. A. platanoides was more sensitive to changes in biotic conditions while A. pseudoplatanus was affected by both abiotic and biotic changes. In general, competition reduced (in A. platanoides) and warming enhanced (in A. pseudoplatanus) germination and survival, respectively. Reduced competition strongly increased the growth of A. platanoides seedlings. Seedling responses were independent of the conditions experienced by the mother tree during seed production and maturation. Our results indicate that, due to the negative effects of competition on the regeneration of A. platanoides, it is likely that under stronger competition (projected under future climatic conditions) this species will be negatively affected in terms of germination, survival and seedling biomass. Climate-change experiments including both abiotic and biotic factors constitute a key step forward to better understand the response of tree species' regeneration to climate change. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author Keyword(s)
  • Acer
  • Regeneration
  • Latitudinal gradient
  • Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Competition
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • SEED
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Plant & Animal Science
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Forestry

[Caron, M. M.; De Frenne, P.; Verheyen, K.] Univ Ghent, Forest & Nat Lab, Gontrode Melle, Belgium; [Brunet, J.] Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Southern Swedish Forest Res Ctr, Alnarp, Sweden; [Chabrerie, O.; Decocq, G.; Lenoir, J.] UPJV, UR Ecol & Dynam Syst Anthropises EDYSAN, FRE CNRS 3498, F-80037 Amiens 1, France; [Cousins, S. A. O.; Plue, J.] Stockholm Univ, Dept Phys Geog & Quaternary Geol, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden; [Diekmann, M.; Kolb, A.] Univ Bremen, FB2, Inst Ecol, Vegetat Ecol & Conservat Biol, D-28359 Bremen, Germany; [Graae, B. J.] Norwegian Univ Sci & Technol, Dept Biol, N-7034 Trondheim, Norway; [Heinken, T.] Univ Potsdam, Inst Biochem & Biol, Biodivers & Systemat Bot, Potsdam, Germany; [Naaf, T.; Wulf, M.] Leibniz Ctr Agr Landscape Res ZALF, Inst Land Use Syst, Muncheberg, Germany; [Selvi, F.] Univ Florence, Dept Agrifood Prod & Environm Sci, Sect Soil & Plant Sci, Florence, Italy; [Wulf, M.] Univ Potsdam, Inst Biochem & Biol, Potsdam, Germany

Reprint Adress

Caron, MM (reprint author), Univ Ghent, Forest & Nat Lab, Geraardsbergsesteenweg 267, B-9090 Melle, Belgium.

  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • Sweden
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Ecologie et dynamique des systèmes anthropisés (EDYSAN), FRE3498
Accession Number
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