Title: A latitudinal gradient in tree growth response to climate warming in the Siberian taiga
Author: Lloyd, Andrea H.; Bunn, Andrew G.; Berner, Logan.
Source: Global Change Biology. 17(5): 1935-1945
Description: We investigated the climate response of three Siberian taiga species, Larix cajanderi, Picea obovata, and Pinus sylvestris, across a latitudinal gradient in central Siberia. We hypothesized that warming is more frequently associated with increased growth for evergreen conifers (P. obovata and P. sylvestris) than for L. cajanderi, and for northern than for southern sites; we also hypothesized that increased growth is associated with a positive trend in normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). In mixed stands, growth of L. cajanderi and P. obovata increased over time, but the larger growth increases in P. obovata may presage a shift in competitive balance between these species. Climate response varied among and within populations of all species, and positive responses to temperature prevailed at northern sites, where trees grew faster in years with warm early summers. Negative responses to warming declined along the south to north latitudinal gradient. We observed considerable variability in climate response within populations which even exceeded that among species or sites. Tree response to climate was correlated with NDVI trends, indicating that patterns of tree-growth response to climate were indicative of a coherent landscape-scale response to warming. Our findings suggest that increased productivity with warming is likely only in the northern reaches of the Siberian taiga. An increased prevalence of evergreen conifers in areas currently dominated by deciduous Larix species also seems likely.
Keywords: boreal forest, climate change, dark taiga, dendrochronology, light taiga, NDVI, taiga
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Lloyd, Andrea H.; Bunn, Andrew G.; Berner, Logan. 2010. A latitudinal gradient in tree growth response to climate warming in the Siberian taiga. Global Change Biology. 17(5): 1935-1945.