Effects of climatic conditions on annual shoot length and tree-ring width of alpine dwarf pine Pinus pumila in central Japan

Abstract

This study compared the effects of climatic conditions on annual shoot length (ASL) and tree-ring width (TRW) of alpine dwarf pine Pinus pumila in central Japan, by using dendrochronological techniques. Chronologies of ASL (1951–2009) and TRW (1972–2009) were standardized to remove non-climatic signals, and correlation tests were done for non-standardized observed values and standardized indices with monthly temperatures and precipitation. Monthly mean temperatures from March to October, except for July, increased during 1951‒2009; observed values and a standardized index of ASL increased during this period. For the rate of increase in ASL, the standardized index was lower than the observed values. However, these values of TRW showed no trends. The observed values and standardized index of TRW positively correlated with temperatures of the beginning of the growing season of the current year. The observed values of ASL positively correlated with temperatures during the growing season of the previous and current years. However, the standardized index of ASL positively correlated with only June temperatures of the previous and current years. The different results of ASL between observed values and standardized indices indicate that many significant correlations of observed values were attributable to increasing trends of temperature and ASL. This study suggests that standardized ASL of P. pumila tended to increase greater than TRW, that high temperatures at the beginning of the growing season increases ASL and TRW, and that analyzing observed values of ASL may overestimate the effects of temperature on ASL of P. pumila.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Mr. Yoshimi Miyake for making strips, Dr. Takeshi Fujiwara for giving facilities for X-ray, and Dr. Koh Yasue for useful discussion. This study was partially supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

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Correspondence to Koichi Takahashi.

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Takahashi, K., Aoki, K. Effects of climatic conditions on annual shoot length and tree-ring width of alpine dwarf pine Pinus pumila in central Japan. J Plant Res 128, 553–562 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-015-0723-x

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Keywords

  • Climatic change
  • Dendrochronology
  • Global warming
  • Radial growth
  • Shoot elongation
  • Standardization