Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 545720
Title Climate regimes override micro-site effects on the summer temperature signal of scots pine at its northern distribution limits
Author(s) Lange, Jelena; Buras, Allan; Cruz-García, Roberto; Gurskaya, Marina; Jalkanen, Risto; Kukarskih, Vladimir; Seo, Jeong Wook; Wilmking, Martin
Source Frontiers in Plant Science 871 (2018). - ISSN 1664-462X
Department(s) Forest Ecology and Forest Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Boreal forest - Climate change - Climate regime - Maximum latewood density - Micro-site - Pinus sylvestris - Tree-ring width - Treeline

Tree growth at northern boreal treelines is generally limited by summer temperature, hence tree rings serve as natural archives of past climatic conditions. However, there is increasing evidence that a changing summer climate as well as certain micro-site conditions can lead to a weakening or loss of the summer temperature signal in trees growing in treeline environments. This phenomenon poses a challenge to all applications relying on stable temperature-growth relationships such as temperature reconstructions and dynamic vegetation models. We tested the effect of differing ecological and climatological conditions on the summer temperature signal of Scots pine at its northern distribution limits by analyzing twelve sites distributed along a 2200 km gradient from Finland to Western Siberia (Russia). Two frequently used proxies in dendroclimatology, ring width and maximum latewood density, were correlated with summer temperature for the period 1901–2013 separately for (i) dry vs. wet micro-sites and (ii) years with dry/warm vs. wet/cold climate regimes prevailing during the growing season. Differing climate regimes significantly affected the temperature signal of Scots pine at about half of our sites: While correlations were stronger in wet/cold than in dry/warm years at most sites located in Russia, differing climate regimes had only little effect at Finnish sites. Both tree-ring proxies were affected in a similar way. Interestingly, micro-site differences significantly affected absolute tree growth, but had only minor effects on the climatic signal at our sites. We conclude that, despite the treeline-proximal location, growth-limiting conditions seem to be exceeded in dry/warm years at most Russian sites, leading to a weakening or loss of the summer temperature signal in Scots pine here. With projected temperature increase, unstable summer temperature signals in Scots pine tree rings might become more frequent, possibly affecting dendroclimatological applications and related fields.

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