Climate-tree-growth relationships of Scots pine stands (Pinus sylvestris L.) exposed to soil dryness
Dendroclimatological techniques were used to assess the impact of climatic factors on radial tree growth (total ring-width and latewood-width) of stunted Scots pine trees (Pinus sylvestris L.) exposed to soil dryness and nutrient deficiency on a dolomite substrate. The response of eight scattered populations representing various habitats, yet influenced by the same regional climate was investigated. Total ring-width and latewood-width were dated, standardized and several chronology statistics, which estimate the chronology signal strength and the potential climate signal in the series, were determined. Dendroclimatic analysis comprised evaluation of event/pointer years as well as response function elements. Response function analysis indicates that at most sites wide rings are significantly associated with high precipitation in April to June and cool conditions in May of the current year, and high precipitation in August to September of the preceding year. Latewood chronologies show a lower climate signal at all sites. Limited water availability causes a homogeneous relationship of radial tree growth to climate at all habitats, though site characteristics (slope magnitude, slope aspect, soil depth, vegetation cover) differ substantially. Cluster analysis of negative event/pointer years suggests that within the study area stands react to extreme climatic events depending on susceptibility to soil dryness, which is primarily determined by site topography.
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