Tree-ring climate response of Jeffrey Pine in the Cascade Creek Watershed, Northern California

Authors: Raju Bista*, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Michelle Mohr, Department of Earth Science and Geography, California State University, Dominguez Hills, David Saldana, Department of Earth Science and Geography, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Gabriel Angulo, Department of Earth Science and Geography, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Parveen Chhetri, Department of Earth Science and Geography, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Topics: Biogeography, Mountain Environments
Keywords: Basal Area Increment, drought, growth-climate correlation, radial growth, Ring Width Index
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 32
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Understanding forest response to ongoing climate change is crucial in forest management strategies under anticipated climate adversity. To understand the retrospective growth dynamics of Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), tree-ring chronology from the sub-alpine forest in Lake Tahoe Basin, California was correlated with temperature, precipitation, and Palmar Drought Severity Index (PDSI). The years 1757, 1782, 1886, 1859, 1876, 1920, 1929-30, 1977, 1988-89, 2001-2002, 2008, and 2014 were some of the years with noticeable low growth. There was robust growth in 1747-1749, 1792, 1828, 1866-68, 1913, 1969, 1984, 1998, 2011 etc. Ring-width index (RWI) and basal area increment (BAI) showed a recent growth increase. Climate-growth response analysis revealed the growth-inhibiting influence of the hot and dry summer. More pronouncedly, warm and wet winter was found to be conducive to tree growth in the following year. Significant growth correlation with the previous year climate (stronger with PDSI) and its absence in current spring may be suggestive of potential growth stimulation by predicted warmer and longer growing season in the future. However, since the RWI chronology consisted mostly of mature trees and because old cambial age tends to have signal divergence, further studies incorporating younger trees and cohabitant species would provide deeper insights into the growth-climate response.

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