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Species-specific growth responses of black spruce and trembling aspen may enhance resilience of boreal forest to climate change

Drobyshev, Igor and Gewehr, Sylvie and Berninger, Frank and Bergeron, Yves (2013). Species-specific growth responses of black spruce and trembling aspen may enhance resilience of boreal forest to climate change. Journal of ecology. 101:1, 231-242
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12007

Abstract

To understand how the future climate will affect the boreal forest, we studied growth responses to climate variability in black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] B.S.P.) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) two major co-occurring boreal tree species of the eastern Canadian boreal forest. We analysed climate growth interaction during (i) periods of non-anomalous growth and (ii) in years with strong growth anomalies. We utilized paired tree level data for both growth and soil variables, which helped ensure that the studied growth variability was a function of species specific biology, and not of within stand variation in soil conditions. Redundancy analysis conducted on spruce and aspen tree ring chronologies showed that their growth was affected differently by climate. During non-anomalous years, growth of spruce was favoured by cooler temperatures and wetter conditions, while aspen growth was favoured by higher temperatures and drier conditions. Black spruce and trembling aspen also showed an inverse pattern in respect to expression of growth anomalies (pointer years). A negative growth anomaly in spruce tended to be associated with positive ones in aspen and vice versa. This suggested that spruce and aspen had largely contrasting species specific responses to both "average" weather conditions and extreme weather events.
Synthesis. Species specific responses to environmental variability imply that tree responses to future climate will likely be not synchronized among species, which may translate into changes in structure and composition of future forest communities. In particular, we speculate that outcome of climate change in respect to relative abundance of black spruce and trembling aspen at the regional levels will be highly dependent on the balance between increasing temperatures and precipitation. Further, species specific responses of trees to annual climate variability may enhance the resilience of mixed forests by constraining variability in their annual biomass accumulation, as compared to pure stands, under periods with high frequency of climatically extreme conditions.

Authors/Creators:Drobyshev, Igor and Gewehr, Sylvie and Berninger, Frank and Bergeron, Yves
Title:Species-specific growth responses of black spruce and trembling aspen may enhance resilience of boreal forest to climate change
Series/Journal:Journal of ecology (1365-2745)
Year of publishing :2013
Volume:101
Number:1
Page range:231-242
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1365-2745
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F40 Plant ecology
K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:boreal forests, ecosystems, dendrochronology, weather, weather conditions, wood, plants, climate, radial growth (trees)
Keywords:biotic interactions, boreal ecosystems, dendrochronology, extreme weather, limiting factors, mixed stands, mixed wood, plant-climate interactions, radial growth, succession
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2030
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2030
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000317922200025
DOI10.1111/1365-2745.12007
ID Code:11263
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:07 Aug 2014 13:20
Metadata Last Modified:09 Feb 2016 08:37

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