Ariel A. Muñoz
The Mediterranean forests in central Chile (MFCC) is one of the five biodiversity hotspots in South America. MFCC has experienced an uninterrupted sequence of dry years since 2010 with mean rainfall deficits of 20–40%. However, this region has suffered worse dry years than the current ones. The resilience of MFCC against the extreme drought years is still unknown. Therefore, it is key to know how MFCC forest populations responded to past drought events. Thus, we can understand how they will respond to current and projected drought conditions for this region. Here, we use a dendroecological approach to assess the components of tree resilience of evergreen (Cryptocarya alba, peumo) and deciduous species (Nothofagus macrocarpa, roble) to exceptional droughts in MFCC: 1968 and 1998 (~70% of rainfall deficit). We sampled ~ 300 tress (~ 600 cores) of peumo and roble populations from five sites across MFCC. Results showed that roble trees are very sensitive to droughts but recovered faster than peumo trees. Both species showed that wet populations are more resistant to drought, but they had lower recovery (although is not clear in 1968 for peumo).We observed that northern populations of peumo (dry sites) have highest capacity to reach pre-episode growth levels (resilience). Similar results have found in forests from Western Mediterranean basin. The results will provide valuable information to understand the ecological resilience of the Mediterranean ecosystems of South America, and thus be useful for future conservation and restoration programs for the effects of climate change.
No datasets are available for this submission.