You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Effects of thinning on drought vulnerability and climate response in north temperate forest ecosystems
Author: D'Amato, Anthony W.; Bradford, John B.; Fraver, Shawn; Palik, Brian J.;
Source: Ecological Applications. 23(8): 1735-1742.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Reducing tree densities through silvicultural thinning has been widely advocated as a strategy for enhancing resistance and resilience to drought, yet few empirical evaluations of this approach exist. We examined detailed dendrochronological data from a long-term (>50 years) replicated thinning experiment to determine if density reductions conferred greater resistance and/or resilience to droughts, assessed by the magnitude of stand-level growth reductions. Our results suggest that thinning generally enhanced drought resistance and resilience; however, this relationship showed a pronounced reversal over time in stands maintained at lower tree densities. Specifically, lower-density stands exhibited greater resistance and resilience at younger ages (49 years), yet exhibited lower resistance and resilience at older ages (76 years), relative to higher-density stands. We attribute this reversal to significantly greater tree sizes attained within the lower-density stands through stand development, which in turn increased tree-level water demand during the later droughts. Results from response–function analyses indicate that thinning altered growth–climate relationships, such that higher-density stands were more sensitive to growing-season precipitation relative to lower-density stands. These results confirm the potential of density management to moderate drought impacts on growth, and they highlight the importance of accounting for stand structure when predicting climate-change impacts to forests.
Keywords: climate change, growth–climate relationships, Minnesota, USA, Pinus resinosa
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
XML: View XML
D'Amato, Anthony W.; Bradford, John B.; Fraver, Shawn; Palik, Brian J. 2013. Effects of thinning on drought vulnerability and climate response in north temperate forest ecosystems. Ecological Applications. 23(8): 1735-1742.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility