Martin Wilmking

Martin Wilmking
University of Greifswald · Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology

Prof. for Landscape Ecology

About

228
Publications
86,604
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
8,013
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2010 - present
Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
October 2005 - October 2010
University of Greifswald
Position
  • Emmy Noether Junior Research Group Leader
February 2005 - September 2005
Finnish Forest Research Institute, METLA
Position
  • Junior Research Group Leader
Education
September 1999 - December 2003
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Field of study
  • Landscape Ecology and Earth System Science

Publications

Publications (228)
Article
Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of drought events in many boreal forests. Trees are sessile organisms with a long generation time, which makes them vulnerable to fast climate change and hinders fast adaptations. Therefore, it is important to know how forests cope with drought stress and to explore the genetic basis of these...
Article
Relict charcoal hearths (RCHs) are small, anthropogenic landforms resulting from past charcoal burning and reaching significant land coverage in pre-industrial mining areas. We review three coupled legacies linked by RCH development: (i) a landscape-scale geomorphic effect, (ii) a unique soil fingerprint, and (iii) an evolving novel ecosystem. The...
Article
Full-text available
The mechanistic pathways connecting ocean-atmosphere variability and terrestrial productivity are well-established theoretically, but remain challenging to quantify empirically. Such quantification will greatly improve the assessment and prediction of changes in terrestrial carbon sequestration in response to dynamically induced climatic extremes....
Article
Full-text available
Research in global change ecology relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature in open areas at around 2 m above the ground. These climatic grids do not reflect conditions below vegetation canopies and near the ground surface, where critical ecosystem functions occur and most terrestrial species reside. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal dunes near the Baltic Sea are often stabilized by Scots pine forests and are characterized by a mild climate. These ecosystems are affected by water shortages and might be influenced by climate extremes. Considering future climate change, utilizing tree rings could help assess the role of climate extremes on coastal forest growth. We used s...
Article
Full-text available
The growth of past, present, and future forests was, is and will be affected by climate variability. This multifaceted relationship has been assessed in several regional studies, but spatially resolved, large-scale analyses are largely missing so far. Here we estimate recent changes in growth of 5800 beech trees ( Fagus sylvatica L.) from 324 sites...
Article
Full-text available
Human-driven peatland drainage has occurred in Europe for centuries, causing habitat degradation and leading to the emission of greenhouse gases. As such, in the last decades, there has been an increase in policies aiming at restoring these habitats through rewetting. Alder ( Alnus glutinosa L.) is a widespread species in temperate forest peatlands...
Article
Full-text available
Heatwaves exert disproportionately strong and sometimes irreversible impacts on forest ecosystems. These impacts remain poorly understood at the tree and species level and across large spatial scales. Here, we investigate the effects of the record-breaking 2018 European heatwave on tree growth and tree water status using a collection of high-tempor...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the interacting effects of temperature and moisture on radial growth is vital for assessing the impacts of climate change on carbon and water cycles. However, studies observing growth at sub-daily temporal scales remain scarce. We analysed sub-daily growth dynamics and its climatic drivers recorded by point dendrometers for 35 trees o...
Article
Full-text available
The recent developments in artificial intelligence have the potential to facilitate new research methods in ecology. Especially Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (DCNNs) have been shown to outperform other approaches in automatic image analyses. Here we apply a DCNN to facilitate quantitative wood anatomical (QWA) analyses, where the main challeng...
Article
Full-text available
• Among the many concerns for biodiversity in the Anthropocene, recent reports of flying insect loss are particularly alarming, given their importance as pollinators, pest control agents, and as a food source. Few insect monitoring programmes cover the large spatial scales required to provide more generalizable estimates of insect responses to glob...
Article
Full-text available
Treeline ecosystems are of great scientific interest to study the effects of limiting environmental conditions on tree growth. However, tree growth is multidimensional, with complex interactions between height and radial growth. In this study, we aimed to disentangle effects of height and climate on xylem anatomy of white spruce [ Picea glauca (Moe...
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands have been drained for land use for a long time and on a large scale, turning them from carbon and nutrient sinks into respective sources, diminishing water regulation capacity, causing surface height loss and destroying biodiversity. Over the last decades, drained peatlands have been rewetted for biodiversity restoration and, as it strong...
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands are effective carbon sinks as more bio-mass is produced than decomposed under the prevalent anoxic conditions. Draining peatlands coupled with warming releases stored carbon, and subsequent rewetting may or may not restore the original carbon sink. Yet, patterns of plant production and decomposition in rewetted peatlands and how they comp...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Plant growth and phenology respond plastically to changing climatic conditions in both space and time. Species-specific levels of growth plasticity determine biogeographical patterns and the adaptive capacity of species to climate change. However, a direct assessment of spatial and temporal variability in radial growth dynamics is complicated,...
Article
Full-text available
The ranges of black and white spruce are largely sympatric, suggesting both species have similar climate requirements. The two species, however, are highly segregated across the landscape with black spruce most common on nutrient‐poor sites with cold, poorly drained soils and white spruce more common on productive sites with warmer, well‐drained so...
Article
Knowledge on the adaptation of trees to rapid environmental changes is essential to preserve forests and their ecosystem services under climate change. Treeline populations are particularly suitable for studying adaptation processes in trees, as environmental stress together with reduced gene flow can enhance local adaptation. We investigated white...
Article
Stationary (time-stable) relationships between a tree-ring proxy and climatic drivers are a prerequisite for using tree rings as paleo-climatological archives, but non-stationarity has been detected worldwide. Here we use a classical, temperature-sensitive treeline site in Western Siberia to specifically test the influence of micro-site conditions...
Article
Rising temperature and altered precipitation regimes will lead to severe droughts and concomitant extreme events in the future. Forest ecosystems have shown to be especially prone to climate change. In assessing climate change impacts, many studies focus on high altitude or ecological edge populations where a climate signal is supposedly most prono...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research in environmental science relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature at around 2 meter above ground1-3. These climatic grids however fail to reflect conditions near and below the soil surface, where critical ecosystem functions such as soil carbon storage are controlled and most biodiversity resides4-8...
Preprint
Full-text available
Among the many concerns for biodiversity in the Anthropocene, recent reports of flying insect loss are particularly alarming, given their importance as pollinators and as a food source for many predators. Few insect monitoring programs cover large spatial scales required to provide more generalizable estimates of insect responses to global change d...
Article
Climate warming is expected to positively alter upward and poleward treelines which are controlled by low temperature and a short growing season. Despite the importance of treelines as a bioassay of climate change, a global field assessment and posterior forecasting of tree growth at annual scales is lacking. Using annually resolved tree‐ring data...
Article
Full-text available
The ecological function of boreal forests is challenged by drastically changing climate conditions. Although an increasing number of studies are investigating how climate change is influencing growth and distribution of boreal tree species, there is a lack of studies examining the potential of these species to genetically adapt or phenotypically ad...
Article
Full-text available
Current analyses and predictions of spatially‐explicit patterns and processes in ecology most often rely on climate data interpolated from standardized weather stations. This interpolated climate data represents long‐term average thermal conditions at coarse spatial resolutions only. Hence, many climate‐forcing factors that operate at fine spatiote...
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands and forests cover large areas of the boreal biome and are critical for global climate regulation. They also regulate regional climate through heat and water vapour exchange with the atmosphere. Understanding how land-atmosphere interactions in peatlands differ from forests may therefore be crucial for modelling boreal climate system dynam...
Article
Shrub expansion into arctic and alpine tundra is one of the prominent vegetation changes currently underway. We studied the expansion of shrub vegetation into high elevation tundra in the Kvarkush Range of the Northern Ural mountains, Russia. Age structure analysis of the dominant shrub Juniperus sibirica Burgsd. seems to support ongoing upslope ad...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in the environment will alter the growth rate of trees and forests. Different disciplines assess such growth rates differently, for example, with tree-ring width data, forest inventories or with carbon-flux data from eddy covariance towers. Such data is used to quantify forests biomass increment, forest’s carbon sequestration or to reconstr...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal sand dunes near the Baltic Sea are a dynamic environment marking the boundary between land and sea and oftentimes covered by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests. Complex climate-environmental interactions characterize these ecosystems and largely determine the productivity and state of these coastal forests. In the face of future clima...
Article
Full-text available
Using measurements from high resolution monitoring of radial tree-growth we present new data of the growth reactions of four widespread broadleaved tree-species to the combined European drought years 2018 and 2019. We can show that, in contrast to field crops, trees could make better use of the winter soil moisture storage in 2018 which buffered th...
Article
Assessing the genetic adaptive potential of populations and species is essential for better understanding evolutionary processes. However, the expression of genetic variation may depend on environmental conditions, which may speed up or slow down evolutionary responses. Thus, the same selection pressure may lead to different responses. Against this...
Article
Full-text available
The response of evapotranspiration (ET) to warming is of critical importance to the water and carbon cycle of the boreal biome, a mosaic of land cover types dominated by forests and peatlands. The effect of warming-induced vapour pressure deficit (VPD) increases on boreal ET remains poorly understood because peatlands are not specifically represent...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Climate limits the potential distribution ranges of species. Establishment and growth of individuals at range margins is assumed to be more limited by extreme events such as drought or frost events than in the centre of their range. We explore whether the growth of beech is more sensitive to drought towards the dry distribution margin and more...
Article
Although cell-anatomical variables are promising proxies reflecting seasonal as well as annual climate changes, their interdependencies are not yet fully understood. In the present study we assessed the changes in tree-ring width and various wood anatomical traits, including wall thickness, lumen diameter and tracheid diameter in the radial directi...
Article
Full-text available
Current analyses and predictions of spatially‐explicit patterns and processes in ecology most often rely on climate data interpolated from standardized weather stations. This interpolated climate data represents long‐term average thermal conditions at coarse spatial resolutions only. Hence, many climate‐forcing factors that operate at fine spatiote...
Article
Full-text available
The majority of variation in six traits critical to the growth, survival and reproduction of plant species is thought to be organised along just two dimensions, corresponding to strategies of plant size and resource acquisition. However, it is unknown whether global plant trait relationships extend to climatic extremes, and if these interspecific r...
Article
Full-text available
Of all terrestrial ecosystems, peatlands store carbon most effectively in long-term scales of millennia. However, many peatlands have been drained for peat extraction or agricultural use. This converts peatlands from sinks to sources of carbon, causing approx. 5% of the anthropogenic Soil Syst. 2020, 4, 14 2 of 27 greenhouse effect and additional n...
Article
Full-text available
Tree‐ring records provide global high‐resolution information on tree‐species responses to global change, forest carbon and water dynamics, and past climate variability and extremes. The underlying assumption is a stationary (time‐stable), quasi‐linear relationship between tree growth and environment, which however conflicts with basic ecological an...
Article
Deciphering the drivers of tree growth is a central aim of dendroecology. In this context, soil conditions may play a crucial role, since they determine the availability of water and nutrients for trees. Yet, effects of systematically differing soil conditions on tree growth render a marginally studied topic. In this context, relict charcoal hearth...
Article
As the Arctic warms, vegetation is responding, and satellite measures indicate widespread greening at high latitudes. This ‘greening of the Arctic’ is among the world’s most important large-scale ecological responses to global climate change. However, a consensus is emerging that the underlying causes and future dynamics of so-called Arctic greenin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Of all terrestrial ecosystems, peatlands store carbon most effectively. However, many peatlands have been drained for peat extraction or agricultural use. This converts peatlands from sinks to sources of carbon, causing approx. 5% of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect and additional negative effects on other ecosystem services. Rewetting peatlands...
Article
Full-text available
Tree growth at northern treelines is generally temperature-limited due to cold and short growing seasons. However, temperature-induced drought stress was repeatedly reported for certain regions of the boreal forest in northwestern North America, provoked by a significant increase in temperature and possibly reinforced by a regime shift of the Pacif...
Article
Full-text available
X‐ray microdensitometry on annually resolved tree‐ring samples has gained an exceptional position in last‐millennium paleoclimatology through the maximum latewood density (MXD) parameter, but also increasingly through other density parameters. For 50 years, X‐ray based measurement techniques have been the de facto standard. However, studies report...
Article
Full-text available
The role of future forests in global biogeochemical cycles will depend on how different tree species respond to climate. Interpreting the response of forest growth to climate change requires an understanding of the temporal and spatial patterns of seasonal climatic influences on the growth of common tree species. We constructed a new network of 310...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the effect of a changing climate on tree growth will ultimately depend on our understanding of wood formation processes and how they can be affected by environmental conditions. In this context, monitoring intra-annual radial growth with high temporal resolution through point dendrometers has often been used. Another widespread approach...
Article
Full-text available
Ring-width series are important for diverse fields of research such as the study of past climate, forest ecology, forest genetics, and the determination of origin (dendro-provenancing) or dating of archeological objects. Recent research suggests diverging climate-growth relationships in tree-rings due to the cardinal direction of extracting the tre...
Article
Fungi play a crucial role in terrestrial Arctic ecosystems as symbionts of vascular plants and nutrient recyclers in soil, with many species persistently or temporarily inhabiting the phyllosphere of the vegetation. In this study we apply high-throughput sequencing to investigate the mycobiome of 172 samples of fresh (current year) and aged (3 year...
Poster
Full-text available
To learn more about genetic adaptation and phenotypic plasticity of wood anatomical traits in a treeline population of white spruce we compared the growth of clonal growing trees (layering) and estimated the broad sense heritability (H²).
Article
Competition effects and management related disturbances can contribute to strong non-climatic signals in ring-width trends of trees from closed canopy forests. Removing this noise comes at the price of losing a considerable amount of (climatic) information on decadal and centennial time scales. Alternatively, open grown solitary trees, which never...
Article
Full-text available
In many parts of the world, especially in the temperate regions of Europe and North-America, accelerated tree growth rates have been observed over the last decades. This widespread phenomenon is presumably caused by a combination of factors like atmospheric fertilization or changes in forest structure and/or management. If not properly acknowledged...
Preprint
The “greening of the Arctic” is among the world’s most significant large scale ecological responses to global climate change1. The Arctic has warmed at twice the rate of the rest of the planet on average in recent decades2 and satellite-derived vegetation indices have indicated widespread increases in productivity (termed “greening”) at high latitu...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Plant functional groups are widely used in community ecology and earth system modelling to describe trait variation within and across plant communities. However, this approach rests on the assumption that functional groups explain a large proportion of trait variation among species. We test whether four commonly used plant functional groups rep...