Drought explains variation in the radial growth of white spruce in western Canada

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/177968

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Chen , L , Huang , J-G , Stadt , K J , Comeau , P G , Zhai , L , Dawson , A & Alam , S A 2017 , ' Drought explains variation in the radial growth of white spruce in western Canada ' , Agricultural and Forest Meteorology , vol. 233 , pp. 133-142 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2016.11.012

Title: Drought explains variation in the radial growth of white spruce in western Canada
Author: Chen, Lei; Huang, Jian-Guo; Stadt, Kenneth J.; Comeau, Philip G.; Zhai, Lihong; Dawson, Andria; Alam, Syed Ashraful
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
Date: 2017-02-15
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
ISSN: 0168-1923
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/177968
Abstract: Many studies have already addressed the existence of unstable and nonlinear relationships between radial growth of white spruce (Picea glauca) and climate variables in boreal forests along the high latitudes (> 60° N). However, along the mid-latitudes, the climate-growth relationship is still poorly understood. In this study, we used a network of ring-width chronologies from 40 white spruce sites along a wide latitudinal gradients from 52° N to 58° N in Alberta, Canada and attempted to understand the complicated response of tree growth to climatic variables and to identify the main limiting factor for the radial growth of white spruce. We combined the empirical linear statistics with the process-based Vaganov-Shashkin Lite (VS-Lite) model requiring only latitude, month mean temperature, and monthly total precipitation information together to better clarify growth-climate relationship. The linear statistical methods indicated that the previous summer temperature imposed a strong negative impact on the radial growth of white spruce while the precipitation and climate moisture index in prior and current summer both had significant positive effects on the radial growth. Similarly, the VS-Lite model showed that the radial growth of white spruce was limited by soil moisture, and temperature-induced drought is the main limiting factor for the radial growth of white spruce. Furthermore, climate-growth relationship varied along different elevations, latitudes, and growing degree days (GDD > 5℃). The radial growth of white spruce in northern stands is often more strongly limited by temperature-induced drought due to the higher temperature and lower precipitation. As the global climate change is in progress, we suggest that more large-scale and continuous investigations are needed to address the spatial variation in growth-climate relationship due to the temperature-induced drought.
Subject: 4112 Forestry
Boreal forest
Drought
Radial growth
Spatial variation
Western Canada
White spruce
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