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    A 20-year experiment was reported on the effects of climate variability and management in California's ponderosa pine plantations. Pine trees were grown in three different climatic and edaphic zones treated with herbicide to reduce competition from understory plants and/or fertilizer to stimulate growth. We found that management increased tree growth and, in most but not all cases, the combination of understory suppression and fertilization stimulated productivity beyond the expected growth potential of each site. In addition, wet sites have the most productive forests overall, but they also respond less strongly to management than do dry sites of low productivity, where understory suppression and fertilization were most effective in increasing tree growth and water use efficiency. These results provide a road map for enhancing carbon accumulation and water use efficiency through adaptive management of soil‐plant‐atmosphere interactions in planted forests and will help modeling efforts aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change on montane forest landscapes.

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    Liles, G. C.; Maxwell, T. M.; Silva, L. C. R.; Zhang, J. W.; Horwath, W. R. 2019. Two decades of experimental manipulation reveal potential for enhanced biomass accumulation and water use efficiency in ponderosa pine plantations across climate gradients. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 124: 2321-2334.


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    Garden of Eden study, fertilization, understory vegetation control, tree ring isotopes, water use efficiency, biomass

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