Temporal changes in climatic limitation of tree-growth at upper treeline forests: Contrasted responses along the west-to-east humidity gradient in Northern Patagonia

Lavergne, A.; Daux, V.; Villalba, R.; Barichivich, J.


Over the last decades, gradual changes in summer climate in the Southern Hemisphere have affected forest growth in contrasting ways in moist and dry regions. Here, we use correlation analysis and a forward process-based model (Vaganov-Shashkin-Lite) to investigate changes in climate limitation of the interannual tree-ring growth of Nothofagus pumilio at the upper treeline along a precipitation gradient in northern Patagonia. Patterns of climate limitation vary consistently along the gradient. At mesic and humid treelines, tree-ring growth is positively related to growing season temperature and negatively to precipitation. At xeric treelines, the opposite is observed. Moreover, the climate-growth relations are not stationary. In particular, according to the model, the step decrease in precipitation in 1952 induced an increase of the moisture limitation at the dry edge of the gradient. Correlation analyses evidence that the dependence of growth on moisture after 1952 has enhanced since 1976. While the model consistently reproduces tree-ring width variations over the 1931-1975 period, it does not capture the growth patterns in the following years. Some environmental parameters (cloudiness, snowpack, atmospheric CO2) affecting moisture, radiation and stomatal aperture may have reached thresholds beyond which the effect on tree-growth has become sizable. (C) 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved,

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000367125200007 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: DENDROCHRONOLOGIA
Volumen: 36
Editorial: Elsevier GmbH
Fecha de publicación: 2015
Página de inicio: 49
Página final: 59


Notas: ISI