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Title: Constrained tree growth and gas-exchange of seawater-exposed forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA

Abstract

1. Rising sea levels under climate change may have significant impacts on coastal vegetation dynamics, yet the response of coastal forest growth, gas-exchange, and survival to seawater intrusion remains poorly documented. 2. We conducted a dendroecology study across six sites in western Washington, USA, to examine how tree growth, gas exchange (indexed by basal area increment, BAI, and wood d13C, respectively), and survival varies with seawater exposure through two approaches. First, tree core samples were collected at a site where seawater exposure started only four years prior to sampling, which allowed a cause-and-effect test of the impacts of seawater exposure on trees, and second, samples were collected at five additional sites where we compared downstream to upstream trees under current sea-level conditions. 3. At the seawater intrusion site, BAI and carbon isotope discrimination (?) decreased significantly (p < 0.01) in the year of intrusion (2014) and stayed unchanged thereafter. Four years later (2018), the percentage of recently standing dead trees in the forest was 73.0% basal area. Across the regional assessment, percentage of standing dead trees was significantly greater in downstream than upstream forests at five of the six sites (averaged 37.7±11.0% and 4.3±2.1% basal area for downstream and upstream,more » respectively). Growth was significantly lower (p < 0.01) at the downstream than upstream for five sites, and ? was lower for all needle-leaf trees (three sites) on the downstream compared to the upstream, but no difference was observed between downstream and upstream for broad-leaf trees (three sites). 4. Synthesis Combined, both the cause-and-effect manipulative study and the regional assessment demonstrate that seawater exposure drives reductions in growth, decreased ? of needle-leaf trees, increased mortality, and greater climate sensitivity, regardless of whether the seawater exposure is recent or long-term.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1577098
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-144278
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Ecology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 107; Journal Issue: 6
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Costal forests, tree growth, tree-ring, tree mortality, seawater, sea-level rise

Citation Formats

Wang, Wenzhi, McDowell, Nate G., Ward, Nicholas D., Indivero, Julia L., Gunn, Cailene M., and Bailey, Vanessa L. Constrained tree growth and gas-exchange of seawater-exposed forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13225.
Wang, Wenzhi, McDowell, Nate G., Ward, Nicholas D., Indivero, Julia L., Gunn, Cailene M., & Bailey, Vanessa L. Constrained tree growth and gas-exchange of seawater-exposed forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA. United States. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13225.
Wang, Wenzhi, McDowell, Nate G., Ward, Nicholas D., Indivero, Julia L., Gunn, Cailene M., and Bailey, Vanessa L. Mon . "Constrained tree growth and gas-exchange of seawater-exposed forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA". United States. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13225.
@article{osti_1577098,
title = {Constrained tree growth and gas-exchange of seawater-exposed forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA},
author = {Wang, Wenzhi and McDowell, Nate G. and Ward, Nicholas D. and Indivero, Julia L. and Gunn, Cailene M. and Bailey, Vanessa L.},
abstractNote = {1. Rising sea levels under climate change may have significant impacts on coastal vegetation dynamics, yet the response of coastal forest growth, gas-exchange, and survival to seawater intrusion remains poorly documented. 2. We conducted a dendroecology study across six sites in western Washington, USA, to examine how tree growth, gas exchange (indexed by basal area increment, BAI, and wood d13C, respectively), and survival varies with seawater exposure through two approaches. First, tree core samples were collected at a site where seawater exposure started only four years prior to sampling, which allowed a cause-and-effect test of the impacts of seawater exposure on trees, and second, samples were collected at five additional sites where we compared downstream to upstream trees under current sea-level conditions. 3. At the seawater intrusion site, BAI and carbon isotope discrimination (?) decreased significantly (p < 0.01) in the year of intrusion (2014) and stayed unchanged thereafter. Four years later (2018), the percentage of recently standing dead trees in the forest was 73.0% basal area. Across the regional assessment, percentage of standing dead trees was significantly greater in downstream than upstream forests at five of the six sites (averaged 37.7±11.0% and 4.3±2.1% basal area for downstream and upstream, respectively). Growth was significantly lower (p < 0.01) at the downstream than upstream for five sites, and ? was lower for all needle-leaf trees (three sites) on the downstream compared to the upstream, but no difference was observed between downstream and upstream for broad-leaf trees (three sites). 4. Synthesis Combined, both the cause-and-effect manipulative study and the regional assessment demonstrate that seawater exposure drives reductions in growth, decreased ? of needle-leaf trees, increased mortality, and greater climate sensitivity, regardless of whether the seawater exposure is recent or long-term.},
doi = {10.1111/1365-2745.13225},
journal = {Journal of Ecology},
number = 6,
volume = 107,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

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