Radial Growth Rate Increases in Naturally Occurring Ponderosa Pine Trees: A Late-20th Century CO2 Fertilization Effect?

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Peter T. Soule' Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: The primary objective of this study was to determine if gradually increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, as opposed to ‘step’ increases commonly employed in controlled studies, have a positive impact on radial growth rates of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in natural environments, and to determine the spatial extent and variability of this growth enhancement. We developed a series of tree-ring chronologies from minimally disturbed sites across a spectrum of environmental conditions. A series of difference of means tests were used to compare radial growth post-1950, when the impacts of rising atmospheric CO2 are best expressed, with that pre-1950. Spearman’s correlation was used to relate site stress to growth-rate changes. Significant increases in radial growth rates occurred post-1950, especially during drought years, with the greatest increases generally found at the most water-limited sites. Site harshness is positively related to enhanced radial growth rates. Atmospheric CO2 fertilization is probably operative, having a positive effect on radial growth rates of ponderosa pine through increasing water-use efficiency. A CO2-driven growth enhancement may affect ponderosa pine growing under both natural and controlled conditions.

Additional Information

Publication
Peter T. Soulé and Paul A. Knapp (2006) "Radial Growth Rate Increases in Naturally Occurring Ponderosa Pine Trees: A Late-20th Century CO2 Fertilization Effect?" New Phytologist Volume 171 pp.379-390 Version of Record Available from (www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
Language: English
Date: 2006
Keywords
CO2 fertilization, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), site harshness, drought, interior Paci?c Northwest

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