How does precipitation affect radial growth of Nothofagus nervosa in the Patagonian Andes forest of Argentina? Preliminary results

Authors: Anabela Bonada*, University of Guelph, Mariano Amoroso, National University of Rio Negro, Leonardo Gallo, National Agricultural Technology Institute, Ze'ev Gedalof, University of Guelph
Topics: Mountain Environments, South America, Global Change
Keywords: Dendrochronology, Climate, Precipitation Gradient, Temperate Mountain Forest
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download

The distribution range of the mixed Nothofagus temperate forest of Patagonia, Argentina will be greatly reduced by the year 2050 based on future climate prediction. Nothofagus nervosa and Nothofagus obliqua are two of the most culturally and economically valuable endemic tree species in Argentina. Due to their economic value, these species were extensively logged for many years, leaving a highly fragmented forest. The mixed forest is distributed at an altitudinal range from 700 to 1000 m.a.s.l. and occupies an area that is only 30 km wide, driven by a steep precipitation gradient, from 3,000 mm in the west to 1,500 mm in the east. Researchers have conducted extensive genetic studies along this precipitation gradient and determined areas of high genetic variability for both species. However, little is known about the growth patterns of these species, and the role that precipitation plays. The main objective of my PhD research is to use dendrochronology to study the effect that the changing climate has on the radial growth of Nothofagus nervosa and Nothofagus obliqua, within their genetically significant populations. We sampled individuals of each species along the entire precipitation and genetic gradient. Performing correlation analysis, we have obtained preliminary results on the climate-growth relationship for the sites on each extreme of the gradient. There is a strong relationship between precipitation and growth. Further analyses is required to determine how critically these species will be affected by changes in climate.

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