European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 135, Issue 1, pp 69–76 | Cite as

Influence of dust deposition and climate on the radial growth of Tsuga canadensis near its northern range limit

  • Emad A. FarahatEmail author
  • Hans W. Linderholm
  • Martin J. Lechowicz
Original Paper


We investigated the effects of dust deposition on the radial growth and sensitivity to climate of eastern hemlock [Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière] growing near its northern range limit in southern Quebec, Canada. We constructed a ring-width chronology from 1867 to 2007 for hemlock trees growing in an old-growth forest adjacent to a rock quarry. Significant decline in the radial growth of hemlock occurred after construction of the quarry in 1959, with a mean decrease of 42.7 % compared to previous growth rates and with major changes occurring 3–16 years after the quarry establishment. Moreover, the growth–climate relationships changed from a predominant response to temperature and precipitation during the growing season before the quarry establishment, to weaker precipitation sensitivity and a stronger association with summer temperatures in year prior to growth. Our results indicate that the main response of the hemlock trees to dust deposition is reduced growth rates, but the change in growth–climate relationships can also be related to this environmental stress.


Tsuga canadensis Dust deposition Pollution Range limits Climate Dendrochronology 



We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that improved the manuscript. We thank the Egyptian Ministry for Higher Education and the PAROWN program (Partnership and Ownership initiatives 2012/2013) for financial support to E. Farahat for his work at McGill and Gothenburg Universities. We are grateful for use of dendrochronology facilities at University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and in the Gothenburg Laboratory for Dendrochronology, Gothenburg University, Sweden. We thank Benôit Hamel at the Gault Nature Reserve for monitoring the quarry dust deposition and sharing his unpublished data; Julie Grammont, Arnaud Milleman and Louise Morin for help collecting and weighing dust deposits; and Petter Stridbeck for his valuable help in MATLAB.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emad A. Farahat
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Hans W. Linderholm
    • 2
  • Martin J. Lechowicz
    • 3
  1. 1.Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of ScienceHelwan UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.CairoEgypt

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