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    Description

    Moisture availability is a key factor that influences white oak (Quercus alba L.) growth and wood production. In unglaciated eastern North America, available soil moisture varies greatly along topographic and edaphic gradients. This study was aimed at determining the effects of soil moisture variability and macroclimate on white oak growth in mixed-oak forests of southern Ohio. Using accurately dated and measured tree rings, we analyzed 119 white oaks growing across an integrated moisture index (IMI), a computer-generated GIS model that simultaneously combines topographic and edaphic features into a moisture index scale. Growth trends varied considerably across the IMI, with trees in mesic sites exhibiting patterns much different from those in either xeric or intermediate sites. BAI growth and biomass increments were higher for trees growing in the intermediate and mesic sites than those from the xeric sites. Correlation and response function analyses, and redundancy analysis revealed significant relations between ring-width indices and climate, with current year May-July PDSI, precipitation and temperature as the most important correlates of white oak growth. Additionally, climatic influences on growth rate were variable across the IMI; trees in xeric sites showed much greater coefficients relative to those from the intermediate and mesic sites. Despite these differences, xeric and intermediate trees exhibited similar growth patterns. The present results provide further evidence of the usefulness of the IMI for identifying and comparing white oak growth patterns across the complex, dissected landscape of southern Ohio.

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    Citation

    Anning, Alexander K.; Rubino, Darrin L.; Sutherland, Elaine K.; McCarthy, Brian C. 2013. Dendrochronological analysis of white oak growth patterns across a topographic moisture gradient in southern Ohio. Dendrochronologia. 31:120-128.

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    Keywords

    climate-growth relations, dendrochronology, integrated moisture index, biomass increment, Quercus alba

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/48483