Physiological and Shoot Growth Responses of Abies holophylla and Abies koreana Seedlings to Open-Field Experimental Warming and Increased Precipitation

Heejae Jo, Florent Noulèkoun, Asia Khamzina, Hanna Chang, Yowhan Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Projected changes in temperature and precipitation in mid-latitude wet regions are expected to significantly affect forest ecosystems. We studied the physiological and shoot growth responses of Abies holophylla and Abies koreana seedlings to warming (3C above ambient temperature) and increased precipitation (irrigation with 40% of rainfall) treatments under open-field conditions. The physiological parameters, quantified by the net photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and total chlorophyll content, were monitored from July to October 2018. Shoot growth (i.e., root collar diameter and height) was assessed in August and December 2018. Irrespective of the treatments, the physiological parameters of both species decreased from July to August under warming treatment due to heat stress before recovering in September and October. Warming alone (W) and warming along with increased precipitation (W*P) decreased the physiological activities of both species in July, August, and September, with more pronounced effects on A. koreana compared with A. holophylla. Increased precipitation resulted in the increased chlorophyll content of both species in October. Shoot growth was not generally affected by the treatments, except for a subtle reduction in height under W*P for A. koreana. A. holophylla had consistently higher values for the physiological parameters and shoot growth than A. koreana. Our results indicate that the physiological activities of the Abies species could be seriously reduced under climate change, with a more severe impact on A. koreana. Among the two species, A. holophylla appears to be a more robust candidate for future forest planting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number356
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Korea Forest Service, grant numbers 2017058A00-1819-AB01 and 2020181A00-2122-BB01.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This research was carried out with the support of National Research Foundation of Korea, grant numbers 4120200313708 and 2019R1I1A1A01064336. We thank the anonymous reviewers for the constructive comments on the earlier version of this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Climate change
  • Extreme heat
  • Gas exchange
  • Korean fir
  • Needle fir
  • Photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Biochemistry


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