Temporal Variation of Wood Density and Carbon in Two Elevational Sites of Pinus cooperi in Relation to Climate Response in Northern Mexico

Pompa-Garcia, Marin; Venegas-Gonzalez, Alejandro

Abstract

Forest ecosystems play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of carbon uptake in forest ecosystems is much needed. Pinus cooperi is a widely distributed species in the Sierra Madre Occidental in northern Mexico and future climatic variations could impact these ecosystems. Here, we analyze the variations of trunk carbon in two populations of P. cooperi situated at different elevational gradients, combining dendrochronological techniques and allometry. Carbon sequestration (50% biomass) was estimated from a specific allometric equation for this species based on: (i) variation of intraannual wood density and (ii) diameter reconstruction. The results show that the population at a higher elevation had greater wood density, basal area, and hence, carbon accumulation. This finding can be explained by an ecological response of trees to adverse weather conditions, which would cause a change in the cellular structure affecting the within-ring wood density profile. The influence of variations in climate on the maximum density of chronologies showed a positive correlation with precipitation and the Multivariate El Nino Southern Oscillation Index during the winter season, and a negative correlation with maximum temperature during the spring season. Monitoring previous conditions to growth is crucial due to the increased vulnerability to extreme climatic variations on higher elevational sites. We concluded that temporal variability of wood density contributes to a better understanding of environmental historical changes and forest carbon dynamics in Northern Mexico, representing a significant improvement over previous studies on carbon sequestration. Assuming a uniform density according to tree age is incorrect, so this method can be used for environmental mitigation strategies, such as for managing P. cooperi, a dominant species of great ecological amplitude and widely used in forest industries.

Más información

Título según WOS: ID WOS:000377561000037 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: PLOS ONE
Volumen: 11
Número: 6
Editorial: Public Library of Science
Fecha de publicación: 2016
DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0156782

Notas: ISI