High resilience of carbon transport in long-term drought-stressed mature Norway spruce trees within 2 weeks after drought release

Kyohsuke Hikino, Jasmin Danzberger, Vincent P. Riedel, Romy Rehschuh, Nadine K. Ruehr, Benjamin D. Hesse, Marco M. Lehmann, Franz Buegger, Fabian Weikl, Karin Pritsch, Thorsten E.E. Grams

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung

6 Zitate (Scopus)


Under ongoing global climate change, drought periods are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity in the future. Under these circumstances, it is crucial for tree's survival to recover their restricted functionalities quickly after drought release. To elucidate the recovery of carbon (C) transport rates in c. 70-year-old Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] KARST.) after 5 years of recurrent summer droughts, we conducted a continuous whole-tree 13C labeling experiment in parallel with watering. We determined the arrival time of current photoassimilates in major C sinks by tracing the 13C label in stem and soil CO2 efflux, and tips of living fine roots. In the first week after watering, aboveground C transport rates (CTR) from crown to trunk base were still 50% lower in previously drought-stressed trees (0.16 ± 0.01 m h−1) compared to controls (0.30 ± 0.06 m h−1). Conversely, CTR below ground, that is, from the trunk base to soil CO2 efflux were already similar between treatments (c. 0.03 m h−1). Two weeks after watering, aboveground C transport of previously drought-stressed trees recovered to the level of the controls. Furthermore, regrowth of water-absorbing fine roots upon watering was supported by faster incorporation of 13C label in previously drought-stressed (within 12 ± 10 h upon arrival at trunk base) compared to control trees (73 ± 10 h). Thus, the whole-tree C transport system from the crown to soil CO2 efflux fully recovered within 2 weeks after drought release, and hence showed high resilience to recurrent summer droughts in mature Norway spruce forests. This high resilience of the C transport system is an important prerequisite for the recovery of other tree functionalities and productivity.

Seiten (von - bis)2095-2110
FachzeitschriftGlobal Change Biology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - März 2022


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