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    Author(s): Tara M. BarrettRobert R. Pattison
    Date: 2017
    Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 47(1): 97-105.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (2.0 MB)

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    PNW-2017-217
    Recent increases found in yellow-cedar in Alaska

    Description

    Climate change is expected to impact forests worldwide, and yellow-cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis (D. Don) Oerst. ex D.P. Little) decline has been used as an example of how changing climate can impact a tree species. However, most previous research has not placed yellow-cedar decline within the context of yellow-cedar overall. We used a 2004–2013 regional inventory of the temperate rainforest of Alaska (671 plots with yellow-cedar) to estimate current attributes and a subset of 564 remeasured plots (established 1995–1998) to estimate recent change. Results show that in unmanaged forests, yellow-cedar live tree basal area recently (1995–1998 to 2004–2013) increased, with a 95% confidence interval of a 0.3% to 3.3% increase per decade. Yellow-cedar has a relatively low mortality rate, 0.41% of trees per year. An analysis of live tree to snag ratios was consistent with elevated mortality of yellow-cedar prior to 1995 but also indicated that little range contraction had occurred. The large numbers and wide geographic range of yellow-cedar trees in Alaska and the recent (1995–2013) stability in the monitored population serve as important contextual information for yellow-cedar decline. This research also illustrates that understanding the spatial and temporal complexities of how tree species respond to climate change will be improved if focused studies are accompanied by regional monitoring.

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    Citation

    Barrett, Tara M.; Pattison, Robert R. 2017. No evidence of recent (1995-2013) decrease of yellow-cedar in Alaska. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 47(1): 97-105.

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    Keywords

    forest decline, forest monitoring, climate change, Callitropsis nootkatensis

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