Climate Response from Martime Taxodium spp. along the Northern Gulf of Mexico Coast

Authors: Clay Tucker*, Louisiana State University
Topics: Biogeography, Paleoenvironmental Change, Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Dendrochronology, hurricanes, climate change
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom C, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In the wake of rising sea levels and shifting climate, human and natural systems near the coast will experience rapid change in the near future. As coastal ecosystems and shorelines regress, saltwater covers habitable land and penetrates freshwater ecosystems. Trees play an important role as indicator species of past and potential future changes through climate reconstructions. Few tree-ring chronologies exist for the Southeastern US or maritime areas. Recent research suggests that maritime pine trees respond to climate, specifically tropical cyclone storm surge. Stress from saltwater intrusion into maritime forests causes trees to be especially sensitive to their environment. Tropical cyclones cause large pulses of saltwater within these areas, while drought minimizes flow of much needed freshwater. However, maritime Pinus trees used in previous studies are younger than the historical record. This study uses Taxodium species along the Gulf of Mexico to produce chronologies longer than that of Southeastern US Pinus species. These chronologies are shown to have significant relationships with various climate indices. Tracking tree-growth responses to sea-level rise of the past may aide in predicting future responses of coastal swamps and forests.

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