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Why Distribution Location Matters for the Climatic Response of Broadleaf Species in the Eastern Deciduous Forest
Presented by Dr. Dario MARTIN-BENITO on 14 May 2013 from 09:50 to 10:10
Type: Oral Presentation
Session: Climate Growth Relations I
Track: Climate-growth relationships
We conducted a dendroclimatic study of broadleaved tree species in the humid deciduous forests of the eastern United States to understand their response to precipitation, temperature, and drought in a large biogeographical context. We analyzed a network of 86 tree-ring width chronologies composed of eight species along a 1700 km latitudinal transect. All species were sensitive to summer drought, as driven by precipitation and temperatures during the growing season. However, the causes of this drought response revealed a strong latitudinal gradient: the influence of precipitation on tree growth decreased from north to south while temperature effects followed the opposite trend. Warmer winter temperatures enhanced growth of some species like tulip poplar and at certain sites, particularly along the Hudson River Valley. Results from these analyses might prove useful for future dendroclimatic reconstruction and for the accurate prediction of the response of these forests to future climate changes.