Radial Growth and Increased Water-Use Efficiency for Ponderosa Pine Trees in Three Regions in the Western United States

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul A. Knapp, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: We examined changes in and relationships between radial growth and intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) trees, climate, and atmospheric CO2 in the western United States since the mid-nineteenth century. We developed tree-ring chronologies for eight sites in three climate regions and used carbon isotope data to calculate pentadal values of iWUE. We examined relationships among radial growth, climate, iWUE, and CO2 via correlation and regression analyses. Significant upward trends in iWUE occurred at all sites, and despite an absence of climate changes that would favor growth, upward radial growth trends occurred at five sites. Our findings suggest that increased iWUE associated with rising CO2 can positively impact tree growth rates in the western United States and are thus an evolving component of forest ecosystem processes.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
atmospheric CO2, climate, drought, intrinsic water-use efficiency, pinus ponderosa, geology

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