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Réponse des rabres forestiers aux changements globaux : approches biogéographique et écophysiologique

Abstract : Tree distribution could be highly affected by climate change. Results of paleogeographic studies showed that tree distribution ranges have already shifted with past climate changes. These data are currently used to model the evolution of species distribution in response to global warming. However, the ecological context in which species have to cope with climate change is very different than the past one: the current increase of temperature occurs faster than the past global warming, the areas being likely colonized are covered by various ecosystems (forests, agricultural surfaces, urban areas). So will tree species be able to cope with the current global change? Will they be able to migrate to find more favourable conditions or to survive to drier environmental conditions? Firstly, the analysis of historical data (French National Forest Office and Spanish National Forest Inventories) allowed determining colonization and extirpation events, and quantifying migration rates of tree species populations situated at the edges or the core of their distribution range. We evidenced that Q. ilex has substantially colonized new areas at its northern margin during the last 130 years, confirming the model trends. However, the colonization rates of Q. ilex are much lower than the shift of its bioclimate predicted by bioclimatic models. Species located at their rear edge showed higher upward shifts than other species located at the core of their range. To conclude, our results showed that global change have already impacted tree distribution although a time-lag between forest species migration responses and their bioclimate shift. Water stress is the main factor explaining tree dieback when water is limited and so particularly at the warm limit of tree species distribution range. Therefore, we studied drought resistance and its mechanisms in angiosperm tree species. Our results showed that embolism threshold of 90% leads to irreversible damages and tree death by dehydration. This threshold is considerably higher than the observed in Conifers. The study of hydraulic functioning of co-occurring oaks showed that the survival of Q. robur could be threatened in the context of increasing drought in the Atlantic forests because of its functioning at high levels of embolism. On the contrary, Q. ilex presented negligible levels of embolism in the same study area. The migration rates form primordial empirical data that give us information about tree effective migration abilities. They could be integrated within vegetation distribution models as well as embolism thresholds leading to tree mortality.
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Morgane Urli. Réponse des rabres forestiers aux changements globaux : approches biogéographique et écophysiologique. Biologie végétale. Université Sciences et Technologies - Bordeaux I, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013BOR14762⟩. ⟨tel-00821979⟩

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