Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Climate-growth relationships for yellow-poplar across structural and site quality gradients in the southern Appalachian Mountains

Author(s):

Peter M. Brown

Year:

2014

Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Southern Research Station

Source:

Forest Ecology and Management
File name

Description

Forecasted changes in climate across the southeastern US include an increase in temperature along with more variable precipitation patterns, including an increase in the severity and frequency of drought events. As such, the management of forests for increased resistance or resilience to the direct and indirect effects of climate change, including decreased tree- and stand-level productivity, is of interest to natural resource practitioners. Because the sensitivity of tree growth to climate can be moderated by competition, manipulating stand density through silvicultural activities may mitigate the negative effects climate change may have on tree growth and productivity. In this paper, we utilized dendrochronology data, along with long-term forest inventory data, from 134 plots established and subsequently thinned between 1960 and 1963 to analyze the effects of climate on annual tree growth for yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) across a broad stand structural and site productivity gradient in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Annual basal area increment (BAI) was most related to the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) during the months of May, June, and July (PDSIMJJ) relative to that of the annual or growing season when structural and site productivity variables were included in the analysis. Annual BAI of trees growing in stands of lower density responded to increases in PDSIMJJ at a faster rate than trees growing in stands of greater density. Conversely, those same trees experienced proportionally greater decreases in BAI at lower values of PDSIMJJ compared to trees in stands of greater density. Annual BAI was positivity related to site productivity, as quantified by site index, with BAI more sensitive to changes in PDSIMJJ on plots of progressively higher site index. Results suggest stand structure as well as measures of productivity should be considered when quantifying climate-growth relationships for forest tree species. Such information could not only aid in the identification of stands most susceptible to reduced growth, but also be used to develop site- or stand-specific silvicultural prescriptions focused on promoting resilience or resistance under a changing climate.

Citation

Keyser, Tara L.; Brown, Peter M. 2014. Climate-growth relationships for yellow-poplar across structural and site quality gradients in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Forest Ecology and Management. 329: 158-165. 8 p.  10.1016/j.foreco.2014.06.015

Cited

Publication Notes

  • 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.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/49884