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Strategies shrubby junipers adopt to tolerate drought differ by site

Drought-induced dieback episodes are globally reported among forest ecosystems but they have been understudied in scrublands. Chronically-stressed individuals are supposed to be more vulnerable prior to drought which triggers death. Drought-triggered dieback and mortality events affecting Mediterranean Juniperus phoenicea scrublands were analyzed in two sites with contrasting climate and soil conditions located in Spain. The radial growth patterns of coexisting living and dead junipers, including the calculation of growth statistics used as early-warning signals, quantified growth response to climate, were characterized and the wood C and O isotope discrimination was analyzed. In the inland, continental site with rocky substrates (Yaso, Huesca, N Spain), dead junipers grew less than living junipers about three decades prior to the dieback started in 2016. However, in the coastal, mild site with sandy soils (Doñana, Huelva, SW Spain), dead junipers were smaller but grew more than living junipers about two decades before the dieback onset in 2005. The only common patterns between sites were the higher growth coherence in both living and dead junipers prior to the dieback, and the decrease in growth persistence of dead junipers. Cool and wet conditions in the prior winter and current spring, and cool summer conditions enhanced juniper growth. In Doñana, growth of living individuals was more reduced by warm July conditions than in the case of dead individuals. Higher ?13C values in Yaso indicate also more pronounced drought stress. In Yaso, dead junipers presented lower ?18O values, but the opposite occurred in Doñana suggesting different changes in stomatal conductance prior to death. Warm summer conditions enhance evapotranspiration rates and trigger dieback in this shallow-rooted species, particularly in sites with a poor water-holding capacity. Chronic, slow growth is not always a reliable predictor of drought-triggered mortality. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Camarero et al (2020) Dieback and mortality of junipers caused by drought: Dissimilar growth and wood isotope patterns preceding shrub death. Agr Forest Meteorol 291, 108078. DOI 10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108078


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168192320301805?dgcid=author#ack0001
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Water boatman survival and fecundity are related to ectoparasitism and salinity stress

Water boatman survival and fecundity are related to ectoparasitism and salinity stress

Salinity is increasing in aquatic ecosystems in the Mediterranean region due to global change, and this is likely to have an important impact on host-parasite interactions. Here the relationships between infection by ectoparasitic water mites and salinity variation, on survival and fecundity of water boatmen Corixidae from Doñana National Park was studied in the laboratory. Larvae of Sigara lateralis parasitised by larval mites (Hydrachna skorikowi) had lower survivorship, and failed to moult to the adult stage. In adult corixids (S. lateralis and Corixa affinis) fitness was reduced at high salinities and in individuals infected by H. skorikowi, both in terms of survival and fecundity. Evidence was also found for parasitism-salinity interactions. Results suggest that ongoing increases in salinity in Mediterranean ponds due to climate change and water abstraction for agriculture or urban use have a strong impact on water bugs, and that their interactions with ectoparasites may modify salinity effects. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Céspedes et al (2019) Water boatman survival and fecundity are related to ectoparasitism and salinity stress. PLos ONE. Doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0209828


https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0209828