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Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 11, pp 2378–2397 | Cite as

Divergent growth trends and climatic response of Picea obovata along elevational gradient in Western Sayan mountains, Siberia

  • Elena BabushkinaEmail author
  • Liliana Belokopytova
  • Dina Zhirnova
  • Anna Barabantsova
  • Eugene Vaganov
Article

Abstract

In mountain ecosystems, plants are sensitive to climate changes, and an entire range of species distribution can be observed in a small area. Therefore, mountains are of great interest for climate-growth relationship analysis. In this study, the Siberian spruce’s (Picea obovata Ledeb.) radial growth and its climatic response were investigated in the Western Sayan Mountains, near the Sayano-Shushenskoe Reservoir. Sampling was performed at three sites along an elevational gradient: at the lower border of the species range, in the middle, and at the treeline. Divergence of growth trends between individual trees was observed at each site, with microsite landscape-soil conditions as the most probable driver of this phenomenon. Cluster analysis of individual tree-ring width series based on inter-serial correlation was carried out, resulting in two sub-set chronologies being developed for each site. These chronologies appear to have substantial differences in their climatic responses, mainly during the cold season. This response was not constant due to regional climatic change and the local influence of the nearby Sayano-Shushenskoe Reservoir. The main response of spruce to growing season conditions has a typical elevational pattern expected in mountains: impact of temperature shifts with elevation from positive to negative, and impact of precipitation shifts in the opposite direction. Chronologies of trees, growing under more severe micro-conditions, are very sensitive to temperature during September-April and to precipitation during October-December, and they record both inter-annual and long-term climatic variation. Consequently, it would be interesting to test if they indicate the Siberian High anticyclone, which is the main driver of these climatic factors.

Keywords

Climate change Tree-ring width Growth trends Climate-growth relationship Picea obovata Elevational gradient 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

Authors would like to thank administration of the National Park “Shushensky Bor” and personally its director Tolmachev V.A. for providing permission and facilitating field work on the park territory. Also, authors are grateful to the editor and reviewers for their constructive comments that have helped to improve this work significantly. The research reported in this manuscript is funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no.17-04-00315).

Supplementary material

11629_2018_4974_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (166 kb)
Divergent growth trends and climatic response of Picea obovata along elevational gradient in Western Sayan mountains, Siberia

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Khakass Technical InstituteSiberian Federal UniversityAbakanRussia
  2. 2.National Park “Shushensky Bor”ShushenskoeRussia
  3. 3.Siberian Federal UniversityKrasnoyarskRussia
  4. 4.Sukachev Institute of ForestSiberian Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesKrasnoyarskRussia

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