Climate warming will reduce growth and survival of Scots pine except in the far north

Peter B Reich, J. Oleksyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Tree growth and survival were assessed in 283 populations of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) originating from a broad geographic range and grown at 90 common-garden experimental sites across Europe, and in 101 populations grown at 14 sites in North America. Growth and survival were analysed in response to climatic transfer distance, the difference in mean annual temperature (MAT) between the site and the population origin. Differences among populations at each site, and across sites for regional groups of populations, were related to climate transfer distance, but in opposite ways in the northern vs. southern parts of the species range. Climate transfers equivalent to warming by 1-4 °C markedly increased the survival of populations in northern Europe (≥ 62°N, < 2 °C MAT) and modestly increased height growth ≥ 57°N but decreased survival at < 62°N and modestly decreased height growth at < 54°N latitude in Europe. Thus, even modest climate warming will likely influence Scots pine survival and growth, but in distinct ways in different parts of the species range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-597
Number of pages10
JournalEcology letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Climate-change impacts
  • Genetic variation
  • Global warming
  • Growth
  • Intraspecific differentiation
  • Pinus sylvestris
  • Population adaptation
  • Provenance
  • Survival


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