How accurately can minimum temperatures at the cold limits of tree species be extrapolated from weather station data?

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_A7F1B3BA2297
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
How accurately can minimum temperatures at the cold limits of tree species be extrapolated from weather station data?
Journal
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
Author(s)
Kollas C., Randin C.F., Vitasse Y., Koerner C.
ISSN
1873-2240
ISSN-L
0168-1923
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2014
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
184
Pages
257-266
Language
english
Abstract
Most plant physiological processes act on micro-geographic scales within meters or less and on temporal scales of minutes or less. Yet, most studies relating species distribution to climate used typical resolutions of kilometers and months at best. Commonly available climate records from weather stations or freely available coarse-resolution geographic climatic layers thus, do not reflect local climatic conditions. In this study we selected sites where eight temperate deciduous tree species are growing at their cold upper elevational and latitudinal limits in the Swiss Alps (from 1165 m a.s.l. to 1804 m a.s.l.) and in Sweden (from 58 degrees 18'N to 59 degrees 27' N). At each site, temperature was recorded for 1-2 years in different conditions: at understorey height (50 cm), 2-m above ground, in the top of tree canopies and at 10 cm depth in the soil. We compared these biologically meaningful temperatures with the closest weather station data after correction for elevation. The data evidence that in mountain terrain, scaling from weather station data to on-site forest conditions requires month-specific lapse rates of temperatures, separated for means and extremes (e.g. minima). Besides best elevation-correction procedures, monthly absolute minimum temperatures predicted from near weather stations remained 1.4 +/- 0.2 K (mean +/- se, 12 sites) cooler than in situ conditions during growing season (2.0 +/- 0.2 K cooler during the non-growing season). At the time when 2-m air temperature reached its absolute monthly minimum, the top of the tree canopy was found 0.4 +/- 0.1 K cooler (mean +/- se, 12 sites) during growing season and 0.9 +/- 0.1 K during the non-growing season. These systematic deviations of low temperature extremes from those predicted from weather stations close the gap between geographical range limits of species, their physiological limits (e.g. freezing resistance) and meteorological information. The "thermal niche" concept of species range limits needs to account for such deviations of life conditions from meteorological data, should the niche boundaries have a functional meaning rooted in plant biology.
Keywords
Deciduous trees, Scandinavia, Swiss Alps, Elevation gradient, Temperature profile, Microclimate
Web of science
Create date
06/05/2015 11:35
Last modification date
20/08/2019 16:12
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