Skip to main content

Growth dynamics of Shorea robusta Gaertn in relation to climate change: a case study from tropical region of Nepal

Abstract

Key message

The growth of Shorea robusta is positively correlated with temperature, whereas the relation to moisture is weak.

Abstract

Tree-ring analyses provide a rich archive of information on environmental attributes affecting tree growth. Tree-ring studies conducted so far have mostly focused on temperate species, and research on tropical trees is limited. This study aims to develop a tree-ring chronology of Shorea robusta and understand the climatic sensitivity of its growth in the tropical region of Nepal. Tree-ring samples of S. robusta were analysed following the standard dendrochronological sample analysis procedure. A 134-year-long ring-width chronology of S. robusta was developed, extending from 1851 to 2018, which is the longest chronology reported for this species. The chronology statistics revealed its high dendroclimatic potential with moderate R-bar, high expressed population signal, and low autocorrelation. The mean annual radial growth was 2.87 mm per year, while the mean basal area increment (BAI) was 9.245 cm2 per year. The ring width, BAI chronology and size-based growth analysis revealed an increasing growth trend of the species, which is likely favoured by the ongoing climate change. The tree growth of the species was positively correlated to temperature throughout the year; however, the relation to moisture parameters was weak. The temperature sensitivity of the species is stable over time, though a slight temporal difference exists in the strength of association.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9

Availability of data and materials

The datasets analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on request.

References

  • Anhuf D, Schleser GH (2017) Tree ring studies in the tropics and subtropics. Erdkund 71:1–4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aryal S, Gaire NP, Pokhrel NR, Rana P, Sharma B, Kharal DK, Poudel BS, Dyola N, Fan Z-X, Grießinger J, Bräuning A (2020) Spring season in western Nepal Himalaya is not yet warming: a 400-year temperature reconstruction based on tree-ring widths of Himalayan Hemlock (Tsuga dumosa). Atmosphere (basel) 11:132

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Babst F, Bouriaud O, Alexander R, Trouet V, Frank DC (2014) Toward consistent measurements of carbon accumulation: a multi-site assessment of biomass and basal area increment across Europe. Dendrochronologia 32:153–161

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Babst F, Bouriaud O, Poulter B, Trouet V, Girardin MP, Frank DC (2019) Twentieth century redistribution in climatic drivers of global tree growth. Sci Adv 2019(5):1–10

    Google Scholar 

  • Baral S, Gaire NP, Aryal S, Pandey M, Rayamajhi S, Vacik H (2019) Growth ring measurements of Shorea robusta reveal responses to climatic variation. Forests 10(6):466

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baral S, Neumann M, Basnyat B, Sharma RP, Silwal R, Shrestha HL, Vacik H (2021) Volume functions for Shorea robusta Gaertn in Nepal forestry. Int J Forest Res. https://doi.org/10.1093/forestry/cpab050

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Beguerıa S, Vicente-Serrano SM, Reig F, Latorre B (2014) Standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) revisited: parameter fitting, evapotranspiration models, tools, datasets and drought monitoring. Int J Climatol 34:3001–3023

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Borgaonkar HP, Sikder AB, Ram S, Pant GB (2010) El Niño and related monsoon drought signals in 523-year-long ring width records of teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) trees from south India. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 285(1–2):74–84

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Briffa KR (1995) Interpreting high-resolution proxy climate data, the example of dendroclimatology. In: von Storch H, Navarra A (eds) Analysis of climate data variability, applications of statistical techniques. Springer, New York, pp 77–94

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Bunn AG (2008) A dendrochronology program library in R (dplR). Dendrochronologia 26(2):115–124

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carrer M, Urbinati C (2006) Long-term change in the sensitivity of tree-ring growth to climate forcing in Larix decidua. New Phytol 170:861–872

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clark DB, Clark DA, Oberbauer SF (2010) Annual wood production in a tropical rain forest in NE Costa Rica linked to climatic variation but not to increasing CO2. Glob Chang Biol 16:747–759

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cook ER, Kairiukstis LA (eds) (1990) Methods of dendrochronology: applications in the environmental sciences. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, p 414

    Google Scholar 

  • Corlett RT (2011) Impacts of warming on tropical lowland rainforests. Trends Ecol Evol 26:606–613

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • D’Arrigo R, Palmer J, Ummenhofer CC, Kyaw NN, Krusic P (2011) Three centuries of Myanmar monsoon climate variability inferred from teak tree rings. Geophys Res Lett 38:L24705

    Google Scholar 

  • DFRS (2015) State of Nepal’s forests. Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) Nepal, Department of Forest Research and Survey (DFRS). Kathmandu, Nepal

  • Dyola N, Bhuju DR, Kharal DK, Aryal S, Gaire NP, Hitler L (2020) Growth pattern of Pinus roxburghii under different regimes of invasive species in Panchase protected forests of Nepal Himalayas. Pakistan J Bot 52(1):1–33. https://doi.org/10.30848/PJB2020-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fritts HC (1976) Tree rings and climate. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, p 567p

    Google Scholar 

  • Gaire NP, Bhuju DR, Koirala M (2013) Dendrochronological studies in Nepal: current status and future prospects. FUUAST J Biol 3(1):1–9

    Google Scholar 

  • Gaire NP, Fan ZX, Shah SK, Thapa UK, Rokaya MB (2020) Tree-ring record of winter temperature from Humla, Karnali, in central Himalaya: a 229 years-long perspective for recent warming trend. Geograf Ann Ser A Phys Geogr 102:1–20

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Girardin MP, Bouriaud O, Hogg EH, Kurz W, Zimmermann NE, Metsaranta JM, de Jongf R, Frank DC, Esper J, Büntgen U, Guo XJ, Bhatti J (2016) No growth stimulation of Canada’s boreal forest under half-century of combined warming and CO2 fertilization. PNAS 113:E8406–E8414

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris I, Jones PD, Osborn TJ, Lister DH (2014) Updated high-resolution grids of monthly climatic observations—the CRU TS 3.10. Int J Climatol 34:623–642

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hiltner U, Bräuning A, Gebrekirstos A, Huth A, Fischer R (2016) Impacts of precipitation variability on the dynamics of a dry tropical montane forest. Ecol Model 320:92–101

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holmes RL (1983) Computer-assisted quality control in tree-ring dating and measurement. Tree-Ring Bull 43:69–78

    Google Scholar 

  • Islam M, Rahman M, Bräuning A (2018) Growth-ring boundary anatomy and dendrochronological potential in a moist tropical forest in northeastern Bangladesh. Tree-Ring Res 74(1):76–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jackson JK, Stapleton CMA, Jeanrenaud JP (1994) Manual of afforestation. Forest Research and Survey Centre, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Google Scholar 

  • Locosselli GM, Brienen RJ, de Souza Leite M, Gloor M, Krottenthaler S, de Oliveira AA, Buckeridge M (2020) Global tree-ring analysis reveals rapid decrease in tropical tree longevity with temperature. Proc Nat Acad Sci 117(52):33358–33364

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Melvin TM, Briffa KR (2008) A signal–free approach to dendroclimatic standardization. Dendrochronologia 26(2):71–86

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pandey S, Maraseni TN, Cockfield G (2014) Dynamics of carbon and biodiversity under REDD+ regime: a case from Nepal. Environ Sci Policy 38:272–281

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Panthi S, Fan Z-X, van der Sleen P, Zuidema PA (2019) Long-term physiological and growth responses of Himalayan fir to environmental change are mediated by mean climate. Glob Change Biol 26:1778–1794

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peters RL, Groenendijk P, Vlam M, Zuidema PA (2015) Detecting long-term growth trends using tree rings: a critical evaluation of methods. Glob Change Biol 21:2040–2054. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12826

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pumijumnong N, Buajan S (2013) Seasonal cambial activity of five tropical tree species in central Thailand. Trees 27(2):409–417

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Quadri P, Silva LC, Zavaleta ES (2021) Climate-induced reversal of tree growth patterns at a tropical treeline. Sci Adv 7(22):eaab7572

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rahman M, Islam M, Bräuning A (2018) Tree radial growth is projected to decline in South Asian moist forest trees under climate change. Glob Planet Change 170:106–119

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rahman M, Islam M, Wernicke J, Bräuning A (2019) Changes in sensitivity of tree-ring widths to climate in a tropical moist forest tree in Bangladesh. Forests 9:761

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rakthai S, Fu PL, Fan ZX, Gaire NP, Pumijumnong N, Eiadthong W, Tangmitcharoen S (2020) Increased drought sensitivity results in a declining tree growth of Pinus latteri in Northeastern Thailand. Forests 11(3):361. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030361

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ram S, Borgaonkar H, Sikder A (2008) Tree-ring analysis of teak (Tectona grandis LF) in Central India and its relationship with rainfall and moisture index. J Earth Syst Sci 117(5):637–645

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rinn F (2003) TSAP–Win: time series analysis and presentation for dendrochronology and related applications. Version 0.55 user reference. Heidelberg, Germany

  • Sano M, Buckley BM, Sweda T (2009) Tree-ring based hydroclimate reconstruction over northern Vietnam from Fokienia hodginsii: eighteenth century mega-drought and tropical Pacific influence. Clim Dyn 33:331–340

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sapkota P, Meilby H, Meilby H (2009) Modelling the growth of Shorea robusta using growth ring measurements. Banko Janakari 19(2):25–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schwab N, Kaczka RJ, Janecka K, Böhner J, Chaudhary RP, Scholten T, Schickhoff U (2018) Climate change-induced shift of tree growth sensitivity at a central Himalayan treeline ecotone. Forests 9:267

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shah SK, Mehrotra N (2017) Tree–ring studies of Toona ciliata from subtropical wet hill forests of Kalimpong, eastern Himalaya. Dendrochronologia 46:46–55

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shah SK, Bhattacharyya A, Chaudhary V (2007) Reconstruction of June–September precipitation based on tree-ring data of teak (Tectona grandis L.) from Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, India. Dendrochronologia 25(1):57–64

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shrestha KB, Hofgaard A, Vandvik V (2015) Tree growth response to climatic variability in two climatically contrasting treeline ecotone areas, central Himalaya, Nepal. Can J Forest Res 45:1643–1653

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Silva LC, Sun G, Zhu-Barker X, Liang Q, Wu N, Horwath WR (2016) Tree growth acceleration and expansion of alpine forests: the synergistic effect of atmospheric and edaphic change. Sci Adv 2(8):e1501302

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Speer JH (2010) Fundamentals of tree ring research. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, USA

    Google Scholar 

  • Speer JH, Bräuning A, Zhang QB, Pourtahmasi K, Gaire NP, Dawadi B, Rana P, Dhakal YR, Acharya RH, Adhikari DL, Adhikari S, Aryal PC, Bagale D, Baniya B, Bhandari S, Dahal N, Dahal S, Ganbaatar N, Giri A, Gurung DB, Khandu Y, Maharjan B, Maharjan R, Malik RA, Nath CD, Nepal B, Ngoma J, Pant R, Pathak ML, Paudel H, Sharma B, Hossain MS, Soronzonbold B, Swe T, Thapa I, Tiwari A (2016) Pinus roxburghii stand dynamics at a heavily impacted site in Nepal: research through an educational fieldweek. Dendrochronologia 41:2–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2016.01.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spiecker H, Mielikaeinen K, Kohl M, Skovsgaard P (eds) (1996). Growth trends in European forests: studies from 12 countries. Research report, European Forest Institute No. 5. Springer, Berlin

  • Talchabhadel R, Karki R, Yadav M, Maharjan M, Aryal A, Thapa BR (2019) Spatial distribution of soil moisture index across Nepal: a step towards sharing climatic information for agricultural sector. Theor Appl Climatol 137:3089–3102

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thapa UK, St. George S, Kharal DK, Gaire NP (2017) Tree growth across the Nepal Himalaya during the last four centuries. Progr Phys Geogr 41(4):478–495

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tiwari A, Fan ZX, Jump AS, Zhou ZK (2017) Warming induced growth decline of Himalayan birch at its lower range edge in a semi-arid region of Trans-Himalaya, central Nepal. Plant Ecol 218:621–633

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trouet V, Oldenborgh GJV (2013) KNMI climate explorer: a web based research tool for high-resolution paleoclimatology. Tree Ring Res 69(1):3–13

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • van der Schrier G, Barichivich J, Briffa KR, Jones PD (2013) A scPDSI-based global data set of dry and wet spells for 1901–2009. J Geophys Res Atmos 118:4025–4048

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van der Sleen P, Groenendijk P, Vlam M, Anten NP, Boom A, Bongers F, Zuidema PA (2015) No growth stimulation of tropical trees by 150 years of CO2 fertilization but water-use efficiency increased. Nat Geosci 8(1):24–28. https://doi.org/10.1038/NGEO2313

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vicente-Serrano SM, Beguerıa S, Lopez-Moreno JI (2010) A multiscalar drought index sensitive to global warming: the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index. J Clim 23:1696–1718. https://doi.org/10.1175/2009JCLI2909.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vlam M, Baker PJ, Bunyavejchewin S, Zuidema PA (2014) Temperature and rainfall strongly drive temporal growth variation in Asian tropical forest trees. Oecologia 174(4):1449–1461

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wigley TML, Briffa KR, Jones PD (1984) On the average value of correlated time series, with applications in dendroclimatology and hydrometeorology. J Appl Meteorol Climatol 23(2):201–213

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wilmking M, Juday GP, Barber VA, Zald HSJ (2004) Recent climate warming forces contrasting growth responses of white spruce at treeline in Alaska through temperature thresholds. Glob Chang Biol 2004(10):1724–1736

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xu XK, Wang P, Liang H, An H, Sun W, Han QL (2017) Tree-ring widths are good proxies of annual variation in forest productivity in temperate forests. Sci Rep 7:1945. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02022-6

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Xu K, Wang X, Liang P, Wu Y, An H, Sun H, Wu P, Wu X, Li Q, Guo X, Wen X, Han W, Liu C, Fan D (2019) A new tree-ring sampling method to estimate forest productivity and its temporal variation accurately in natural forests. For Ecol Manage 433:217–227

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xuzhi WXZ (1991) The applicability of spline function fitting in dendroclimatological analysis. Acta Meteorol Sin 1

  • Zang C, Biondi F (2015) Treeclim: an R package for the numerical calibration of proxy–climate relationships. Ecography 38(4):431–436

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zaw Z, Fan Z‐X, Bräuning A, Xu C‐X, Liu W‐J, Gaire NP, Panthi S, Than KZ (2020) Drought reconstruction over the past two centuries in southern Myanmar using teak tree‐rings: linkages to the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Geophys Res Lett 47:e2020GL087627

  • Zhao S, Pederson N, D’Orangeville L, HilleRisLambers J, Boose E, Penone C, Bauer B, Jiang Y, Manzanedo RD (2019) The International Tree-Ring Data Bank (ITRDB) revisited: data availability and global ecological representatively. J Biogeogr 46:355–368

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to Timber Corporation Nepal (TCN), Bara, for providing the information and also cooperation for the tree measurement. We would like to thank Raj K. Shahu and Sudhir Shrestha, Institute of Forestry, for their support in data collection and compilation. The field work in Nepal has been financially supported by the Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Austria.

Funding

The research was funded by the Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sony Baral.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by Franco.

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Baral, S., Gaire, N.P., Giri, A. et al. Growth dynamics of Shorea robusta Gaertn in relation to climate change: a case study from tropical region of Nepal. Trees 36, 1425–1436 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-022-02300-5

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-022-02300-5

Keywords

  • Shorea robusta
  • Tropical forest
  • Tree ring
  • Growth
  • Basal area increment
  • Nepal