Divergent tree growth response to recent climatic warming, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

William W. Driscoll, Gregory C. Wiles, Rosanne D. D'Arrigo, Martin Wilmking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many dendroclimatic studies have been conducted in Alaska to understand recent climate changes, identify past and current warming trends, and determine how climate change may influence ecosystems. Four new white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) ring-width chronologies from four sites along a 30 kilometer north-south transect in the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve on the Alaskan Peninsula span a common interval from AD 1769 to 2003. Two sites show an internally consistent positive growth response to increasing April - July temperatures after 1950. The two other sites each contain two subpopulations showing varying growth responses. One subpopulation diverges from historical temperature data after 1950 and one shows increased growth consistent with warming or exceeds expected growth increases. The growth decline may be due to temperature-induced drought stress that acts on some trees. Unprecedented climatic changes are triggering diverse growth responses between and within study sites that may greatly complicate dendroclimatic reconstructions of past climate conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL20703
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume32
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2005

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