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Title: Topography alters tree growth–climate relationships in a semi-arid forested catchment

Abstract

Topography and climate play an integral role in the spatial variability and annual dynamics of aboveground carbon sequestration. Despite knowledge of vegetation–climate–topography relationships on the landscape and hillslope scales, little is known about the influence of complex terrain coupled with hydrologic and topoclimatic variation on tree growth and physiology at the catchment scale. Climate change predictions for the semi-arid, western United States include increased temperatures, more frequent and extreme drought events, and decreases in snowpack, all of which put forests at risk of drought induced mortality and enhanced susceptibility to disturbance events. In this study, we determine how species-specific tree growth patterns and water use efficiency respond to interannual climate variability and how this response varies with topographic position. We found that Pinus contorta and Pinus ponderosa both show significant decreases in growth with water-limiting climate conditions, but complex terrain mediates this response by controlling moisture conditions in variable topoclimates. Foliar carbon isotope analyses show increased water use efficiency during drought for Pinus contorta, but indicate no significant difference in water use efficiency of Pinus ponderosa between a drought year and a non-drought year. The responses of the two pine species to climate indicate that semi-arid forests are especially susceptiblemore » to changes and risks posed by climate change and that topographic variability will likely play a significant role in determining the future vegetation patterns of semi-arid systems.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Inst. of Arctic and Alpine Research. Dept. of Geography
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1454921
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0006968
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Ecosphere
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-8925
Publisher:
Ecological Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; dendrochronology; ecohydrology; lodgepole pine; Pinus contorta; Pinus ponderosa; ponderosa pine; semi-arid; topoclimate; topographic wetness index; water use efficiency

Citation Formats

Adams, Hallie R., Barnard, Holly R., and Loomis, Alexander K. Topography alters tree growth–climate relationships in a semi-arid forested catchment. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1890/ES14-00296.1.
Adams, Hallie R., Barnard, Holly R., & Loomis, Alexander K. Topography alters tree growth–climate relationships in a semi-arid forested catchment. United States. doi:10.1890/ES14-00296.1.
Adams, Hallie R., Barnard, Holly R., and Loomis, Alexander K. Wed . "Topography alters tree growth–climate relationships in a semi-arid forested catchment". United States. doi:10.1890/ES14-00296.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1454921.
@article{osti_1454921,
title = {Topography alters tree growth–climate relationships in a semi-arid forested catchment},
author = {Adams, Hallie R. and Barnard, Holly R. and Loomis, Alexander K.},
abstractNote = {Topography and climate play an integral role in the spatial variability and annual dynamics of aboveground carbon sequestration. Despite knowledge of vegetation–climate–topography relationships on the landscape and hillslope scales, little is known about the influence of complex terrain coupled with hydrologic and topoclimatic variation on tree growth and physiology at the catchment scale. Climate change predictions for the semi-arid, western United States include increased temperatures, more frequent and extreme drought events, and decreases in snowpack, all of which put forests at risk of drought induced mortality and enhanced susceptibility to disturbance events. In this study, we determine how species-specific tree growth patterns and water use efficiency respond to interannual climate variability and how this response varies with topographic position. We found that Pinus contorta and Pinus ponderosa both show significant decreases in growth with water-limiting climate conditions, but complex terrain mediates this response by controlling moisture conditions in variable topoclimates. Foliar carbon isotope analyses show increased water use efficiency during drought for Pinus contorta, but indicate no significant difference in water use efficiency of Pinus ponderosa between a drought year and a non-drought year. The responses of the two pine species to climate indicate that semi-arid forests are especially susceptible to changes and risks posed by climate change and that topographic variability will likely play a significant role in determining the future vegetation patterns of semi-arid systems.},
doi = {10.1890/ES14-00296.1},
journal = {Ecosphere},
issn = {2150-8925},
number = 11,
volume = 5,
place = {United States},
year = {2014},
month = {11}
}

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Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Cited by: 32 works
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    Multiple factors modulate tree growth complementarity in Central European mixed forests
    journal, September 2017

    • Mina, Marco; Huber, Markus O.; Forrester, David I.
    • Journal of Ecology, Vol. 106, Issue 3
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    • Pappas, Christoforos; Fatichi, Simone; Rimkus, Stefan
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 120, Issue 2
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    Impacts of growing‐season climate on tree growth and post‐fire regeneration in ponderosa pine and Douglas‐fir forests
    journal, April 2019

    • Hankin, Lacey E.; Higuera, Philip E.; Davis, Kimberley T.
    • Ecosphere, Vol. 10, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2679

    The role of local-scale heterogeneities in terrestrial ecosystem modeling
    journal, February 2015

    • Pappas, Christoforos; Fatichi, Simone; Rimkus, Stefan
    • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 120, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1002/2014jg002735

    Impacts of growing‐season climate on tree growth and post‐fire regeneration in ponderosa pine and Douglas‐fir forests
    journal, April 2019

    • Hankin, Lacey E.; Higuera, Philip E.; Davis, Kimberley T.
    • Ecosphere, Vol. 10, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2679

    Multiple factors modulate tree growth complementarity in Central European mixed forests
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    • Mina, Marco; Huber, Markus O.; Forrester, David I.
    • Journal of Ecology, Vol. 106, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12846