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    Author(s): Robert Zahner; Joseph R. Saucier; Richard K. Myers
    Date: 1989
    Source: Can. J. For. Res., Vol. 19: 612-621
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.91 MB)


    Annual ring widths and ring areas from 131 even-aged, natural, well-stocked stands of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) in the Piedmont region were analyzed to reveal possible causes of a previously reported decline in radial growth. A linear aggregate model was used to separate independent factors that are known to contribute to radial growth variation in this species. Stand, site, and climatic conditions were reconstructed for each stand for the 36-year period 1949-1984 from previous inventories and from weather records at appropriately located stations. Within each of six 5-year age-classes, the model identified declines in both ring width and ring area associated with stand density, climate changes, and the passage of time. Regional climate first meliorated this decline as pine stands passed from droughty conditions early in the 36-year period to a favorable climate during the middle of the period, and the decline accelerated later with the return of dry conditions toward the end of the period. The tree-ring model simulates a decline in radial increment in trees in natural pine stands between the ages of 20 &d 45 years in the Piedmont which has averaged 1% per year since 1950. Part of the downward trend was attributed to increased competition, part to regional drought, and-a considerable part to unidentified factors, possibly regional atmospheric deposition.

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    Zahner, Robert; Saucier, Joseph R.; Myers, Richard K. 1989. Tree-ring model interprets growth decline in natural stands of loblolly pine in the southeastern United States. Can. J. For. Res., Vol. 19: 612-621

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