Journal Article

Growth–climate relationships vary with height along the stem in lodgepole pine

Sophan Chhin, E.H. (TED) Hogg, Victor J. Lieffers and Shongming Huang

in Tree Physiology

Volume 30, issue 3, pages 335-345
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Growth–climate relationships vary with height along the stem in lodgepole pine

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This study tests the hypothesis that ring growth in the upper stem portion of trees is affected by climatic conditions differently than rings formed at breast height (1.3 m). A total of 389 trees from a network of 65 lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud. var. latifolia Engelm.) sites in Alberta were examined using detailed stem analysis in order to examine interannual patterns of basal area increment and volume increment at different positions along the stem. Growth at lower sections of the bole was mainly driven by temperature and moisture conditions in the seasons prior to the growing season in the year of ring formation, while upper stem growth was more related to conditions during the year of growth, i.e., temperature in the early summer, or moisture in late winter to early spring. This translates into increased allocation of wood to the lower stem when prior late summer conditions are cool and wet, prior winters are mild (warm with little snow) and early summer conditions in the year of ring formation are hot and dry.

Keywords: boreal; carbon allocation; conifer; dendrochronology; forest productivity; montane; Pinus contorta var. latifolia

Journal Article.  6417 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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