Influence of snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in subarctic Eurasia

E. A. Vaganov, M. K. Hughes, A. V. Kirdyanov, F. H. Schweingruber, P. P. Silkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

387 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The causes of a reduced sensitivity of high-latitude tree growth to variations in summer temperature for recent decades, compared to earlier this century, are unknown. This sensitivity change is problematic, in that relationships between tree-ring properties and temperature are widely used for reconstructing past climate. Here we report an analysis of tree-ring and climate data from the forest-tundra zone, in combination with a mechanistic- model of tree-ring growth, to argue that an increasing trend of winter precipitation over the past century in many subarctic regions led to delayed snow melt in these permafrost environments. As a result, the initiation of cambial activity (necessary for the formation of wood cells) has been delayed relative to the pre-1960 period in the Siberian subarctic. Since the early 1960s, less of the growth season has been during what had previously been the period of maximal growth sensitivity to temperature. This shift results not only in slower growth, but also in a reduced correlation between growth and temperature. Our results suggest that changes in winter precipitation should be considered in seeking explanations for observer changes in the timing of the 'spring greening' of high-latitude forests, and should be taken into account in the study of the role of the Siberian subarctic forest in the global carbon cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-151
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume400
Issue number6740
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 8 1999

Fingerprint

melt
tree ring
temperature
subarctic region
winter
climate
tundra
carbon cycle
permafrost
snow
summer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Vaganov, E. A., Hughes, M. K., Kirdyanov, A. V., Schweingruber, F. H., & Silkin, P. P. (1999). Influence of snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in subarctic Eurasia. Nature, 400(6740), 149-151. https://doi.org/10.1038/22087

Influence of snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in subarctic Eurasia. / Vaganov, E. A.; Hughes, M. K.; Kirdyanov, A. V.; Schweingruber, F. H.; Silkin, P. P.

In: Nature, Vol. 400, No. 6740, 08.07.1999, p. 149-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vaganov, EA, Hughes, MK, Kirdyanov, AV, Schweingruber, FH & Silkin, PP 1999, 'Influence of snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in subarctic Eurasia', Nature, vol. 400, no. 6740, pp. 149-151. https://doi.org/10.1038/22087
Vaganov EA, Hughes MK, Kirdyanov AV, Schweingruber FH, Silkin PP. Influence of snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in subarctic Eurasia. Nature. 1999 Jul 8;400(6740):149-151. https://doi.org/10.1038/22087
Vaganov, E. A. ; Hughes, M. K. ; Kirdyanov, A. V. ; Schweingruber, F. H. ; Silkin, P. P. / Influence of snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in subarctic Eurasia. In: Nature. 1999 ; Vol. 400, No. 6740. pp. 149-151.
@article{6c3ae033309f449ca31a1744a9c3c9e4,
title = "Influence of snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in subarctic Eurasia",
abstract = "The causes of a reduced sensitivity of high-latitude tree growth to variations in summer temperature for recent decades, compared to earlier this century, are unknown. This sensitivity change is problematic, in that relationships between tree-ring properties and temperature are widely used for reconstructing past climate. Here we report an analysis of tree-ring and climate data from the forest-tundra zone, in combination with a mechanistic- model of tree-ring growth, to argue that an increasing trend of winter precipitation over the past century in many subarctic regions led to delayed snow melt in these permafrost environments. As a result, the initiation of cambial activity (necessary for the formation of wood cells) has been delayed relative to the pre-1960 period in the Siberian subarctic. Since the early 1960s, less of the growth season has been during what had previously been the period of maximal growth sensitivity to temperature. This shift results not only in slower growth, but also in a reduced correlation between growth and temperature. Our results suggest that changes in winter precipitation should be considered in seeking explanations for observer changes in the timing of the 'spring greening' of high-latitude forests, and should be taken into account in the study of the role of the Siberian subarctic forest in the global carbon cycle.",
author = "Vaganov, {E. A.} and Hughes, {M. K.} and Kirdyanov, {A. V.} and Schweingruber, {F. H.} and Silkin, {P. P.}",
year = "1999",
month = "7",
day = "8",
doi = "10.1038/22087",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "400",
pages = "149--151",
journal = "Nature",
issn = "0028-0836",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "6740",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Influence of snowfall and melt timing on tree growth in subarctic Eurasia

AU - Vaganov, E. A.

AU - Hughes, M. K.

AU - Kirdyanov, A. V.

AU - Schweingruber, F. H.

AU - Silkin, P. P.

PY - 1999/7/8

Y1 - 1999/7/8

N2 - The causes of a reduced sensitivity of high-latitude tree growth to variations in summer temperature for recent decades, compared to earlier this century, are unknown. This sensitivity change is problematic, in that relationships between tree-ring properties and temperature are widely used for reconstructing past climate. Here we report an analysis of tree-ring and climate data from the forest-tundra zone, in combination with a mechanistic- model of tree-ring growth, to argue that an increasing trend of winter precipitation over the past century in many subarctic regions led to delayed snow melt in these permafrost environments. As a result, the initiation of cambial activity (necessary for the formation of wood cells) has been delayed relative to the pre-1960 period in the Siberian subarctic. Since the early 1960s, less of the growth season has been during what had previously been the period of maximal growth sensitivity to temperature. This shift results not only in slower growth, but also in a reduced correlation between growth and temperature. Our results suggest that changes in winter precipitation should be considered in seeking explanations for observer changes in the timing of the 'spring greening' of high-latitude forests, and should be taken into account in the study of the role of the Siberian subarctic forest in the global carbon cycle.

AB - The causes of a reduced sensitivity of high-latitude tree growth to variations in summer temperature for recent decades, compared to earlier this century, are unknown. This sensitivity change is problematic, in that relationships between tree-ring properties and temperature are widely used for reconstructing past climate. Here we report an analysis of tree-ring and climate data from the forest-tundra zone, in combination with a mechanistic- model of tree-ring growth, to argue that an increasing trend of winter precipitation over the past century in many subarctic regions led to delayed snow melt in these permafrost environments. As a result, the initiation of cambial activity (necessary for the formation of wood cells) has been delayed relative to the pre-1960 period in the Siberian subarctic. Since the early 1960s, less of the growth season has been during what had previously been the period of maximal growth sensitivity to temperature. This shift results not only in slower growth, but also in a reduced correlation between growth and temperature. Our results suggest that changes in winter precipitation should be considered in seeking explanations for observer changes in the timing of the 'spring greening' of high-latitude forests, and should be taken into account in the study of the role of the Siberian subarctic forest in the global carbon cycle.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0033536180&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0033536180&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/22087

DO - 10.1038/22087

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0033536180

VL - 400

SP - 149

EP - 151

JO - Nature

JF - Nature

SN - 0028-0836

IS - 6740

ER -