Spatial Variability in Climate Response of Longleaf Pine

Authors: John Sakulich*, Regis University, Grant L. Harley, University of Idaho
Topics: Biogeography, Environmental Science, Global Change
Keywords: dendrochronology, climate change, geographic range, species distributions
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


Accurate predictions of future geographic ranges of tree species and mitigation of the undesirable effects of climate change on forest communities require an understanding of spatial variability of the response of tree growth to climate. Here we present an analysis of the climate–growth relationship in an old-growth, montane stand of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)—a once extensively distributed species in the southeastern United States. Land clearing and disruptions to disturbance regimes have reduced longleaf pine to about 5% of its pre-settlement range. We use dendroecological methods to analyze the response of longleaf pine to monthly precipitation, temperature, and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) at this site on the edge of the species’ geographic range. We also compared the response of tree growth at this montane site to tree-ring chronologies at various locations on the Coastal Plain. Radial growth at the montane site was influenced by available moisture and precipitation during the growing season, as well as winter temperatures one year prior to growth. Precipitation had a similar influence on tree growth at Coastal Plain sites, but these chronologies were not influenced by winter temperatures.

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