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Seasonal shift in the climate responses of Pinus sibirica, Pinus sylvestris, and Larix sibirica trees from semi-arid, north-central Mongolia

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In light of a significant increase in the warming trend observed in recent decades in semi-arid Mongolia, tree-ring attributes and anomalies were analysed to detect potential changes in the growth–climate relationship. In a moisture-limited environment, an increase in temperature could cause a shift in the seasonal response of trees to climate. Chronologies were developed for the dominant tree species (Larix sibirica Ledeb., Pinus sibirica Du Tour, and Pinus sylvestris L.) from north-central Mongolia. In addition to annual ring width, both earlywood and latewood width were measured, and tree-ring anomalies such as false rings and light rings were systematically identified. Earlywood width was mainly associated with precipitation in the year prior to ring formation and early growing season conditions. Temperature was associated with current year growth and mainly influenced latewood development. False rings were good indicators of early summer droughts, whereas light rings were mainly associated with a cold end of summer. A seasonal shift in the significance of monthly climate variables was observed in recent decades. This displacement presumably resulted from changes in the timing and duration of the growing season. Tree growth starts earlier in spring and is now affected by late summer to early autumn climate conditions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 du P.E.P.S, P.O. Box 10380, Stn. Sainte-Foy, QC G1V 4C7, Canada. 2: Canada Research Chair in Dendrochronology, Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research (C-FIR), University of Winnipeg, Department of Biology, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada. 3: Department of Geology and Geography, West Virginia University, Box 6300, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA. 4: Tree Ring Laboratory, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, P.O. Box 1000, 61 Rt. 9W, Palisades, NY 10964, USA. 5: Department of Geography, University of Tennessee, 304 Burchfiel Geography Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-0925, USA. 6: Centre for Nature Conservation, University of Goettingen, Von-Siebold Str. 2, 37075 Goettingen, Germany. 7: Department of Forest Sciences, School of Biology and Biotechnology, National University of Mongolia, 210646A Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Publication date: 2011-06-26

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