Skip to main content

Data from: How neighbourhood interactions control the temporal stability and resilience to drought of trees in mountain forests

Cite this dataset

Jourdan, Marion; Kunstler, Georges; Morin, Xavier (2019). Data from: How neighbourhood interactions control the temporal stability and resilience to drought of trees in mountain forests [Dataset]. Dryad.


1. Over the coming decades, the predicted increase in frequency and intensity of extreme events such as droughts is likely to have a strong effect on forest functioning. Recent studies have shown that species mixing may buffer the temporal variability of productivity. However, most studies have focused on temporal stability of productivity, while species mixing may also affect forest resilience to extreme events. Our understanding of mechanisms underlying species mixing effects on forest stability and resilience remains limited because we ignore how changes from intraspecific to interspecific interactions in the neighbourhood of a given tree might affect its stability and resilience to extreme drought (i.e. response during and after this drought). This is crucial to better understand forests’ response to climate change and how diversity may help maintain forest functioning.

2. Here we analysed how local intra‐ or interspecific interactions may affect the temporal stability and resilience to drought of individual trees in French mountain
forests, using basal area increment data over the previous 20 years for Fagus sylvatica, Abies alba and Quercus pubescens. We analysed the effect of interspecific
competition on (a) the temporal stability and (b) the resilience to drought (resistance and recovery) of individual tree radial growth.

3. We found no significant interspecific competition effect on temporal stability, but species‐specific effects on tree growth resilience to drought. There was a positive
effect of heterospecific proportion on the drought resilience of Q. pubescens, a negative effect for A. alba and no effect for F. sylvatica. These differences may be
related to interspecific differences in water use or rooting depth.

4. Synthesis: In this study, we showed that stand composition influences individual tree growth resilience to drought, but this effect varied depending on the species
and its physiological responses. Our study also highlighted that a lack of biodiversity effect on long‐term stability might hide important effects on short‐term
resilience to extreme climatic events. This may have important implications in the face of climate change.


Agence de la transition écologique

French National Centre for Scientific Research