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Climate - radial growth relationships in some major tree species of British Columbia Klinka, Karel; Splechtna, Bernhard E.; Dobry, Jaroslav; Chourmouzis, Christine 1998

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Scientia Silvica Extension Series, Number  13, 1998Climate - Radial Growth Relationshipsin Some Major Tree Species of British ColumbiaIntroductionThis study examines the influence of climate on tree-ring properties of several major tree species: Pacific silver fir (Abiesamabilis (Dougl. ex Loud.) Forbes), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii(Mirb.) Franco), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Dougl. ex Loud.).  Our three objectives were to determehow (1) tree-ring properties change along an elevation gradient, (2) short-term climatic influences are correlated with tree-ring properties, and (3) long-term climatic influence on tree-ring properties.Materials and methodsPacific silver fir was sampled in high-elevation old-growth stands in the subalpine Mountain Hemlock zone in southerncoastal BC; subalpine fir was sampled in second-growth stands across the montane Sub-Boreal Spruce zone and thesubalpine Engelmann Spruce - Subalpine Fir zone in central and southern BC, respectively; and Douglas-fir and lodgepolepine were sampled in old-growth stands within the northern Interior Douglas-fir zone in central BC. The cores or discswere dated and each was measured for ring width (RW). For some tree species we also measured other tree-ring propertiessuch as latewood  width (LW), mean ring  density (RD),  latewood  density (LD),  and maximum density (MXD).  Themeasurement were done using a Win-DENDRO II system and X-ray densitometry. We analyzed relationships betweenelevation and selected tree-ring properties, using elevation as a surrogate for local climate. Using dendrochronologicalmethods, we developed tree-ring chronologies and related them to climatic data available from the nearest climate station.Ring-climate relationships along an elevation gradientThe influence of elevation on tree-ring properties was investigated for subalpine fir.  The elevation gradient from 620 to2,100 m reflected changes that occur within montane boreal and subalpine boreal climates. All measured ring propertieswere significantly negatively correlated with elevation (Figure 1A and B), and MXD and RD were significantly positivelycorrelated with LW (Figure 1C and D). This means that the elevation gradient in boreal climates coincides with a forestproductivity gradient: site index, ring width, and ring density decrease with increasing elevation.G24G24G47G4dG58G56G57G48G47G3G28G4fG48G59G44G57G4cG52G51G3GbG50GcG14G15G13G13 G14G19G13G13 G15G13G13G13 G15G17G13G13G30G44G5bG4cG50G58G50G3G27G48G51G56G4cG57G5cG3GbG4aG12G46._G50G16GcG13G11G18G13G13G11G18G18G13G11G19G13G13G11G19G18G13G11G1aG13G13G11G1aG18G13G11G1bG13G13G11G1bG18 G26G2fG44G57G48G5aG52G52G47G3G3aG4cG47G57G4bG3GbG50G50GcG13G11G15 G13G11G16G13G11G17 G13G11G18 G13G11G19G30G44G5bG4cG50G58G50G3G27G48G51G56G4cG57G5cG3GbG4aG12G46._G50G16GcG13G11G18G13G13G11G18G18G13G11G19G13G13G11G19G18G13G11G1aG13G13G11G1aG18G13G11G1bG13G13G11G1bG18G25G24G47G4dG58G56G57G48G47G3G28G4fG48G59G44G57G4cG52G51G3GbG50GcG14G15G13G13 G14G19G13G13 G15G13G13G13 G15G17G13G13G2fG44G57G48G5aG52G52G47G3G3aG4cG47G57G4bG3GbG50G50GcG13G11G15G13G13G11G15G18G13G11G16G13G13G11G16G18G13G11G17G13G13G11G17G18G13G11G18G13G13G11G18G18G13G11G19G13 G27G2fG44G57G48G5aG52G52G47G3G33G48G55G46._G48G51G57G44G4aG48G15G17 G15G1b G16G15G16G19G17G13G17G17G35G4cG51G4aG3G27G48G51G56G4cG57G5cG3GbG4aG12G46._G50G16GcG13G11G16G17G13G11G16G19G13G11G16G1bG13G11G17G13G13G11G17G15G13G11G17G17Figure 1. Scattergram and fitted regression line of: A - maximum density on adjusted elevation (R2 = 0.35); B - latewood width onadjusted elevation (R2 = 0.17); C - maximum density on latewood width (R2 = 0.36) and D - ring density on percent of latewood (R2 =0.62).Short-term climatic influencesShort-term climatic influence on maximum ring density was investigated for Pacific silver fir and subalpine fir (Figure 2).  Inboth species MXD was significantly positively correlated with the current year August temperature, and significantlynegatively correlated with late summer precipitation.  This pattern suggests that warmer and drier late summer conditionslead to greater maximum ring density.  For Pacific silver fir, density may also be increased by an early warm spring.However, warm temperatures in other seasons appear to have a negative effect on density, as seen in the negative correlationsof previous year fall temperatures in low-elevation subalpine fir.Figure 2. Correlations (bars) and response functions (lines) for chronologies of maximum density (MXD) indices on mean monthlytemperature and precipitation.  For low- and high-elevation subalpine fir, monthly climatic parameters are for 15 months (July ofprevious year to September of the current year) from 1946 to 1992; for high elevation Pacific silver  fir monthly climatic para metersare for 17 months from 1892 to 1990. Bullets indicate months of significant correlations, shaded columns indicate months ofsignificant response.The short-term climatic influence on ring width was also investigated for subalpine fir, Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine(Figure 3). In low-elevation subalpine fir, lower temperatures and higher precipitation in the early growing season appear toimprove growth (significant negative correlation and response to mean May and June temperatures, and significant positiveresponse to May precipitation).  The high-elevation trees showed a distinctly different pattern with both positive andnegative correlations and reponses to temperature and precipitation.Both Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine showed a strong postitive response and correlation to precipation in August of theprevious year (Figure 3). Greater precipitation in this period may result in increased nutrient storage in the biomass and mayincrease foliar efficiency in the following year.   Both species also showed a significant negative reponse to mean Junetemperature of the current year, suggesting below-normal temperatures in early summer may favour radial growth. Lowertemperatures in the late spring may reduce the plant moisture stress which typically occurs  in the study area.G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G2dG24 G36G32G31G27 G2d G29G30G24G30G2d G2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G2dG24 G36G32G31G27G2d G29G30G24G30G2d G2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G30G2d G2dG24G36G32G31G27G2dG29G30G24G30G2dG2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G2dG24 G36G32G31G27 G2d G29G30G24G30G2d G2dG24G36G37G48G50G53G48G55G44G57G58G55G48 G33G55G48G46._G4cG53G4cG57G44G57G4cG52G51G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G2dG24 G36G32G31G27G2d G29G30G24G30G2d G2dG24G36G36G58G45G44G4fG53G4cG51G48G3G49G4cG55G3G10G3G4bG4cG4aG4bG3G48G4fG48G59G44G57G4cG52G51G30G52G51G57G4bG56 G30G52G51G57G4bG56G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G30G2dG2dG24G36G32G31G27G2dG29G30G24G30G2dG2dG24G36G33G44G46._G4cG49G4cG46._G3G56G4cG4fG59G48G55G3G49G4cG55G3G10G3G4bG4cG4aG4bG3G48G4fG48G59G44G57G4cG52G51G36G58G45G44G4fG53G4cG51G48G3G49G4cG55G3G10G3G4fG52G5aG3G48G4fG48G59G44G57G4cG52G51RW - climate correlation and response function coefficientsLong-term climatic influencesLong-term climatic influences on ring width covering a period of several hundred years are presented only for Douglas-firand lodgepole pine in a continental, summer-dry, cool temperate climate (Figure 4). Markers (extremely narrow ringsfollowing wider ones) were present in most samples, indicating the presence of strong macroclimatic signals in tree-rings.The most important marker was for 1869, which is recognizable as a trough in the plotted standard chronologies.  Fire scarspresent in 8 of the 14 study stands were dated to occur in 1869.There were similarities between Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine chronologies in 9 study stands. The long-term componentof the chronologies indicates periods of more favourable climatic conditions (improved radial growth) and less favourableclimatic conditions (suppressed radial growth). There were some common periods of suppressed growth in both species inmost of the study plots; for example around 1869, 1920, and 1970. This pattern suggests common periods of adverseclimatic conditions, such as the widespread fires in 1869, occur at about 50-year intervals.Figure 3. Correlations (bars) and response functions (lines) for chronologies of ring-width (RW) indices on mean monthly temperatureand precipitation.  For low- and high-elevation subalpine fir, monthly climatic parameters are for 15 months (July of previous year toSeptember of the current year) from 1946 to 1992; for Douglas-fir and lodepole pine   monthly climatic parameters are for 17 monthsfrom 1948 to 1995. Bullets indicate months of significant correlations, shaded columns indicate months of significant response.G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G2dG24 G36G32G31G27G2d G29G30G24G30G2d G2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G30G2dG2dG24G36G32G31G27G2dG29G30G24G30G2dG2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G2dG24 G36G32G31G27G2d G29G30G24G30G2d G2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G30G2dG2dG24G36G32G31G27G2dG29G30G24G30G2dG2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G2dG24 G36G32G31G27G2d G29G30G24G30G2d G2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G30G2dG2dG24G36G32G31G27G2dG29G30G24G30G2dG2dG24G36G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G30G2dG2dG24G36G32G31G27G2dG29G30G24G30G2dG2dG24G36G36G58G45G44G4fG53G4cG51G48G3G49G4cG55G3G10G3G4bG4cG4aG4bG3G48G4fG48G59G44G57G4cG52G51G27G52G58G4aG4fG44G56G10G49G4cG55G2fG52G47G4aG48G53G52G4fG48G3G53G4cG51G48G37G48G50G53G48G55G44G57G58G55G48 G33G55G48G46._G4cG53G4cG57G44G57G4cG52G51G10G13G11G18G10G13G11G16G10G13G11G14G13G11G14G13G11G16G13G11G18G2dG24 G36G32G31G27G2d G29G30G24G30G2d G2dG24G36G36G58G45G44G4fG53G4cG51G48G3G49G4cG55G3G10G3G4fG52G5aG3G48G4fG48G59G44G57G4cG52G51G30G52G51G57G4bG56 G30G52G51G57G4bG56MXD - climate correlation and response function coefficientsG27G52G58G4aG4fG44G56G3G49G4cG55G14G19G13G13 G14G19G18G13 G14G1aG13G13 G14G1aG18G13 G14G1bG13G13 G14G1bG18G13 G14G1cG13G13 G14G1cG18G13 G15G13G13G13G13G14G15G35G3aG3G2cG51G47G48G5bG3G44G51G47G3G2fG10G33G3G35G58G51G51G4cG51G4aG3G30G48G44G51G26G44G4fG48G51G47G44G55G3G3cG48G44G55G56G2fG52G47G4aG48G53G52G4fG48G3G53G4cG51G48G14G19G13G13 G14G19G18G13 G14G1aG13G13 G14G1aG18G13 G14G1bG13G13 G14G1bG18G13 G14G1cG13G13 G14G1cG18G13 G15G13G13G13G13G14G15Figure 4. Indexed ring-width chronologies (thin line) for Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine from selected stands and their 13 year low-pass filter component showing long-term ring-width variation (thick line).SummaryOur findings indicate that radial growth (ring width, late-wood width, ring density, late-wood density and maximum density)is influenced by climate more strongly in extreme conditions - cold or warm and dry climates - and that different species mayhave similar responses to similar climatic influences.  When the influences of climatic factors on tree growth  are known, wecan better evaluate and predict the effects of climate change.ReferenceSplechtna, B., J. Dobry, and K. Klinka. 2000. Tree-ring characteristics of subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.) inrelation to elevation and climatic fluctuations. Ann. For. Sci. 57:89-100.Scientia Silvica  is published by the Forest Sciences Department,The University of British Columbia, ISSN 1209-952XEditor: Karel Klinka (klinka@interchange.ubc.ca)Research: Bernhard Splechtna (b.splechtna@utanet.at) and Jaroslav Dobry (dobry@login.cz)Production and design: Christine Chourmouzis (chourmou@interchange.ubc.ca)Financial support: Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and ForestRenewal British ColumbiaFor more information contact: B. SplechtnaCopies available from: www.forestry.ubc.ca/klinka, orK. Klinka, Forest Sciences Department, UBC,2036-2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4common peroids of suppressed growth

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