Comparing whitebark pine radial growth response to climate variables in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, USA

Authors: April Kaiser*, , Saskia van de Gevel, Appalachian State University
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Biogeography, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: Whitebark pine, Pinus albicaulis, climate variables, Cascades, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Dendroclimatology
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The endangered whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is an important dendrochronological species due to its long-life span of up to 1,000 years. This study explores the most influential climatic variable on whitebark pine trees located in the Cascades (four sites) and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges (five sites). Whitebark pine radial growth data was collected from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank. We determined whether average temperature, maximum temperature, Palmer Drought Severity Index, or precipitation had the largest influence on whitebark pine radial growth at the nine sites. We explored correlations temporally from 1925-2002 through forward evolutionary interval analysis in DendroClim 2002 software. Both mountain ranges were comparatively analyzed through whitebark pine master chronologies using ANOVA and independent samples t-tests. The most influential climatic variable overall for the nine sites was the Palmer Drought Severity Index. Once separated, average temperature was most influential for the Cascades and Palmer Drought Severity Index for the Sierras. The DendroClim 2002 results support radial growth-climate temporal stability. We found no significant difference in radial growth between both mountain ranges. These dendroclimatic analyses show promise for future climate reconstructions using whitebark pine in the Cascades and Sierras.

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