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Peatland pines as climate indicators? A regional comparison of the climatic influence on Scots pine growth in Sweden

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Six tree-ring chronologies from Sweden were analyzed to assess if Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) growing on peatlands are useful as annually resolved climate indicators. Also, climate–growth relationships were compared with those of pines growing on nearby dry sites to evaluate if pines from both environments may be combined to yield climate information. While temperatures in spring and summer had positive influences on peatland pine growth, precipitation responses ranged from negative in the north to positive in the south. Climate – growth response patterns differed between peatland and neighboring dry sites, where climatic information in peatland pines was weaker. Added to the direct effect of growth-year climate, is the response of peatland pines to water table variations, a function of climate over several years, likely causing annual growth to reflect a synthesis of climate over a long period. Scots pine climate – growth responses, in both environments, changed throughout the 20th century, corresponding to changes in temperature and precipitation patterns in Sweden. Decreasing growth trends since the late 1970s may be a result of late 20th century change to a warmer and wetter climate, possibly related to a strengthening of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in recent decades.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-08-01

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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