Interannual growth response of Norway spruce to climate along an altitudinal gradient in the Tatra Mountains, Poland

Yuliya Savva, Jacek Oleksyn, Peter B. Reich, Mark G. Tjoelker, Eugene A. Vaganov, Jerzy Modrzynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Ring-width chronologies of Picea abies (L.) Karst. from ten sites in the Tatra Mountains, Poland, were developed to explore growth/climate responses in stands along an altitudinal gradient ranging from 839 to 1468 m a.s.l. There were positive relationships between current-year radial growth and mean monthly temperatures in March, April, June and July, but with increasing elevation, the strength of this correlation declined for March-April and increased for June-July temperatures. The mean monthly temperature in October of the previous year positively influenced radial growth of trees at all sites. Lower mean temperatures in January negatively affected growth of trees at the high-elevation sites. Trees at the low-elevation sites responded positively to a warm early spring, whereas trees at the high-elevation sites showed positive growth responses to higher summer temperatures. Growth of trees at the high-elevation sites was better explained by the temperature regime than was growth at the lower-elevation sites. Therefore, it is likely that these sites may be particularly sensitive to potential effects of temperature change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-746
Number of pages12
JournalTrees - Structure and Function
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This research was supported by the Fulbright Foundation, the Russian Science Support Foundation, the Wilderness Research Foundation, and a cooperative Russian and Polish Academy of Sciences project. We thank Dr. Lee Frelich, Dr. Roy Rich and two anonymous reviewers for helpful suggestions.


  • Altitudinal gradient
  • Dendroclimatology
  • Picea abies
  • Tree rings


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