Population dynamics and tree-ring climate response of Himalayan endemic Larix species from the Nepal Himalayas

Authors: Prakash Aryal*, GoldenGate International College, Tribhuvan University,, Man Kumar Dhamala, Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Sijar Bhatta, GoldenGate International College, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Madan Krishna Suwal, Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, Kathmandu, Narayan Prasad Gaire, Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Parveen Chhetri, Department of Earth Science and Geography, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Topics: Biogeography, Mountain Environments
Keywords: Climate response, Larix, Himalayas, Nepal, Population Dynamics, Tree-ring
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 32
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Changes in the global temperature and precipitation regime have been significantly driving species responses, notably in sensitive areas such as the Himalayas. We conducted this study at three high altitudes valleys and presenting population dynamics and tree-ring width site chronologies for two Larix species (Larix griffithii and Larix himalaica) for the first time. The population structure of Larix in terms of the proportion of seedlings, saplings, and trees varied significantly in three study areas. The most extended chronology spans from 1745–2015 AD and showed a recent decline in the growth of Larix species in all the sites, controlled mainly by drought. Tree growth showed a negative response to temperature and a positive response to precipitation, indicating that moisture stress is limiting the species' growth. The varied responses of Larix manifested through regeneration status from spatially distinct areas show that regeneration limitations might be more pronounced in the future. Tree-ring climate response results indicated that these species have good potential for past climate reconstruction such as temperature, rainfall, or drought indices. Also, the study revealed that the Himalayan endemic Larix species investigated are promising for tree-ring based multi-aspect environmental change studies in the future.

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