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In trees exposed to prolonged drought, both carbon uptake (C source) and growth (C sink) typically decrease. This correlation raises two important questions: (i) to what degree is tree growth limited by C availability; and (ii) is growth limited by concurrent C storage (e.g., as nonstructural carbohydrates, NSC)? To test the relationships between drought,(More)
Phenological events, such as the initiation and the end of seasonal growth, are thought to be under strong evolutionary control because of their influence on tree fitness. Although numerous studies highlighted genetic differentiation in phenology among populations from contrasting climates, it remains unclear whether local adaptation could restrict(More)
Current threats to biodiversity, such as climate change, are thought to alter the within-species genetic diversity among microhabitats in highly heterogeneous alpine environments. Assessing the spatial organization and dynamics of genetic diversity within species can help to predict the responses of organisms to environmental change. In this study, we(More)
The carbon charging of pines across the treeline ecotone of three different climatic zones (Mexico 19 degrees N Pinus hartwegii, Swiss Alps 46 degrees N P. cembra and northern Sweden 68 degrees N P. sylvestris) was analyzed, to test whether a low-temperature-driven carbon shortage can explain high-elevation tree limits, and whether the length of the growing(More)
Fruiting is typically considered to massively burden the seasonal carbon budget of trees. The cost of reproduction has therefore been suggested as a proximate factor explaining observed mast-fruiting patterns. Here, we used a large-scale, continuous 13C labeling of mature, deciduous trees in a temperate Swiss forest to investigate to what extent fruit(More)
Alpine dwarf shrub communities are phenologically linked with snowmelt timing, so early spring exposure may increase risk of freezing damage during early development, and consequently reduce seasonal growth. We examined whether environmental factors (duration of snow cover, elevation) influenced size and the vulnerability of shrubs to spring freezing along(More)
Temperature is the most important factor driving the cold edge distribution limit of temperate trees. Here, we identified the minimum temperatures for root growth in seven broad-leaved tree species, compared them with the species' natural elevational limits and identified morphological changes in roots produced near their physiological cold limit. Seedlings(More)
In low temperature-adapted plants, including treeline trees, light-saturated photosynthesis is considerably less sensitive to temperature than growth. As a consequence, all plants tested so far show increased nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) tissue concentrations when exposed to low temperatures. Reduced carbon supply is thus an unlikely cause for low(More)