iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Growth patterns of Pinus sylvestris across Europe: a functional analysis using the HYDRALL model

Federico Magnani (1), Angelo Nolè (2)   , Francesco Ripullone (2), John Grace (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 2, Issue 5, Pages 162-171 (2009)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0516-002
Published: Oct 15, 2009 - Copyright © 2009 SISEF

Research Articles

The variability of Pinus sylvestris growth over two geographic transects across Europe has been explored through a process-based forest growth model (Hydrall: HYDRaulic constraints on ALLocation) which accounts for the effects of environmental conditions not only on short-term gas exchanges, but also on allocation and tree structure. The model has been validated against both eddy-covariance and growth data under contrasting environmental conditions. Forest growth was found to be reduced by low temperatures (-50%) and water stress (-37%) at the opposite extremes of the natural range of the species. Application of a functional model made it possible to partition growth reductions between individual processes. Gross primary production was severely affected by low temperatures and short vegetative periods at the northern extreme of the specific range (-53%), and by low air and soil humidity at the southern limit (-26%). The ratio between net and gross primary production was found to be rather constant across the temperate region, only increasing in the boreal zone in response to low temperatures (+20%). Under dry conditions, on the contrary, a substantial proportion of the reduction in aboveground productivity was attributed to the need to allocate increasing amounts of resources to fine root production and maintenance (+16%). Both short and long-term responses should be considered in the prediction of climate change impact on forests.


Allocation, ANPP, Geographic variation, GPP, Precipitation, Scots pine, Temperature

Authors’ address

Federico Magnani
Department of Plant Cultivation, University of Bologna (Italy)
Angelo Nolè
Francesco Ripullone
Department of Crop System, Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata (Italy)
John Grace
IERM, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom)

Corresponding author

Angelo Nolè


Magnani F, Nolè A, Ripullone F, Grace J (2009). Growth patterns of Pinus sylvestris across Europe: a functional analysis using the HYDRALL model. iForest 2: 162-171. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0516-002

Academic Editor

Roberto Tognetti

Paper history

Received: Aug 07, 2008
Accepted: Oct 06, 2009

First online: Oct 15, 2009
Publication Date: Oct 15, 2009
Publication Time: 0.30 months

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