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Here, we investigated the physiological and structural leaf responses of seedlings of two evergreen and two deciduous Quercus species, grown in a glasshouse and subjected to contrasted conditions of light (low, medium and high irradiance) and water (continuous watering vs 2-months drought). The impact of drought on photosynthetic rate was strongest in high(More)
Drylands occupy large portions of the Earth, and are a key terrestrial biome from the socio-ecological point of view. In spite of their extent and importance, the impacts of global environmental change on them remain poorly understood. In this introduction, we review some of the main expected impacts of global change in drylands, quantify research efforts(More)
Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global(More)
Three hypotheses have been proposed to explain the functional relationship between seed mass and seedling performance: the reserve effect (larger seeds retain a larger proportion of reserves after germinating), the metabolic effect (seedlings from larger seeds have slower relative growth rates), and the seedling-size effect (larger seeds produce larger(More)
Dryland ecosystems account for ca. 27% of global soil organic carbon (C) reserves, yet it is largely unknown how climate change will impact C cycling and storage in these areas. In drylands, soil C concentrates at the surface, making it particularly sensitive to the activity of organisms inhabiting the soil uppermost levels, such as communities dominated by(More)
The biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are interlinked by primary production, respiration and decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems. It has been suggested that the C, N and P cycles could become uncoupled under rapid climate change because of the different degrees of control exerted on the supply of these elements by(More)
The combined effects of shade and drought on plant performance and the implications for species interactions are highly debated in plant ecology. Empirical evidence for positive and negative effects of shade on the performance of plants under dry conditions supports two contrasting theoretical models about the role of shade under dry conditions: the(More)
We used a functional trait-based approach to assess the impacts of aridity and shrub encroachment on the functional structure of Mediterranean dryland communities (functional diversity (FD) and community-weighted mean trait values (CWM)), and to evaluate how these functional attributes ultimately affect multifunctionality (i.e. the provision of several(More)
Drought stress is known to limit plant performance in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. We have investigated the dynamics of the hydraulics, gas exchange and morphology of six co-existing Mediterranean woody species growing under natural field conditions during a drought that continued during the entire summer. Based on the observed minimum leaf water(More)
Understanding the impacts of combined resource supplies on seedlings is critical to enable prediction of establishment growth, and forest dynamics. We investigated the effects of irradiance and water treatments on absolute growth, and relative growth rate (RGR) and its components, for seedlings of four Quercus species differing in leaf habit and with a wide(More)