Ultrasonic acoustic emissions were measured in Quercus ilex trees of a Mediterranean forest in Catalonia (NE Spain) each season from summer of 2004 to autumn of 2005. Acoustic emissions were maximum during hot and dry summer periods. Acoustic emissions started below 17% soil moisture, 0.85 RWC, and 2.5 MPa leaf water potential. They were negatively correlated with soil moisture and leaf water potential. The relationship between acoustic emissions and leaf water potential was the strongest, indicating that xylem tension is the most important factor inducing both cavitation (acoustic emissions) and a decrease in leaf water potential. Future increase of xylem cavitation derived from climate change may result in growth and survival limitations for this species in the drier southern limits of its current distribution. © 2007 Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences.
- Climate change
- Mediterranean forests
- Quercus ilex
- Ultrasonic acoustic emissions