Regional and local climate change depends on continentality, orography, and human activities. In particular, local climate modification by water reservoirs can reach far from shore and downstream. Among the possible ecological consequences are shifts in plant performance. Tree-ring width of affected trees can potentially be used as proxies for reservoir impact. Correlation analysis and t-tests were applied to climatic data and tree-ring chronologies of Pinus sylvestris L. and Larix sibirica Ledeb. from moisture-deficit habitats in the intermontane Khakass-Minusinsk Depression, to assess modification of climate and tree growth by the Krasnoyarsk and Sayano-Shushenskoe Reservoirs on the Yenisei River. Abrupt significant cooling in May–August and warming in September-March occurred after the launch of the turbines in dams, more pronounced near the Sayano-Shushenskoe dam (up to – 0.5 °C in summer and to + 3.5 °C in winter) than near the Krasnoyarsk Reservoir headwaters (– 0.3 °C and + 1.4 °C). Significant lengthening of the warm season was also found for temperature thresholds 0–8 °C. Shifts of seasonality and intensity occurred in climatic responses of all tree-ring chronologies after development of water reservoirs. Patterns of these shifts, however, depended on species-specific sensitivity to climatic modification, distance from reservoirs, and physiographic regions. Mitigation of climate continentality and extremes by reservoirs appears to have offset possible negative effects of warming on tree growth.
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