Variability in the climate response of disjunct northern white cedar in the central Appalachian Mountains

Authors: Joshua Kincaid*, Shenandoah University
Topics: Biogeography, Physical Geography, Environment
Keywords: northern white cedar, climate, range, tree rings, disjunct
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Understanding the geographic range and growth characteristics of species is essential for effective forest management in a landscape affected by anthropogenic activity and climate change. Climate change is expected to alter the distribution and growth of many tree species in eastern North America, including northern white cedar (NWC). This research examined the effects of climate on radial growth of NWC in disjunct populations south of its continuous range margin in eastern North America. A NWC tree-ring chronology (1895-2010) was developed and examined for growth-climate interactions. Mean sensitivity of the NWC chronology was within the range of values reported for the species in northern portions of its range. Significant positive correlations existed between the NWC chronology and moisture variables late in the growing season of the previous year and current year. The relationship between the NWC chronology and temperature was more variable with significant positive and negative correlations throughout the previous year and current year. Results also indicated that NWC growth-climate interactions have varied over time. While the mean sensitivity of NWC appears similar throughout its range, there is spatial and temporal variability in the climate-growth response of NWC. More research is necessary to expand the scope of our knowledge concerning NWC growth throughout its range.

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