The importance of early summer temperature and date of snow melt for tree growth in the Siberian Subarctic

Alexander Kirdyanov, Malcolm Hughes, Eugene Vaganov, Fritz Schweingruber, Pavel Silkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

161 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wood material for at least 12 larch trees at six sites [Larix sibirica Ldb, Larix gmelinii (Rupr.) Rupr, Larix cajanderi Mayr] near the northern timberline in Siberia was analyzed to investigate influence of climatic factor changes on tree-ring growth at high latitudes. Tree-ring cell size, maximum latewood density and ring width measured by means of image analysis and X-ray radiodensitometry and calculated latewood cell-wall thickness were used. Correlation analysis of tree-ring structure parameter chronologies with temperatures averaged over periods of 5 days (pentad) shows that early summer temperature (mean for 5-6 pentads, depending on the region, starting from the middle of June) and date of snow melt are the most important factors that define seasonal growth and tree-ring structure. Analysis of instrumental climatic data indicates that a positive trend of early summer temperature was combined with winter precipitation (October-April) increase and this combination leads to later snow melt. Based of the results of tree-ring growth modelling, it was shown that later snow melt (hence, delayed initiation of cambial activity and, as a result, decrease of wood production) explains the changes in the relationship between tree ring width and summer temperature dynamics observed after the 1960s for a large area of the Siberian Subarctic. The understanding of the role of winter precipitation in controlling ring growth, through its effect on the timing of cambial activation, suggests the possibility of using ring structure parameters to create reconstructions of past winter precipitation variations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalTrees - Structure and Function
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2003

Fingerprint

Snow
growth rings
tree ring
tree growth
snow
Larix
melt
Temperature
summer
Growth
temperature
latewood
winter
growth modeling
Larix sibirica
Siberia
Larix gmelinii
Chronology
dendrochronology
treeline

Keywords

  • Dendrochronology
  • Early summer temperature
  • Snow cover
  • Tree-ring growth
  • Tree-ring structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science

Cite this

The importance of early summer temperature and date of snow melt for tree growth in the Siberian Subarctic. / Kirdyanov, Alexander; Hughes, Malcolm; Vaganov, Eugene; Schweingruber, Fritz; Silkin, Pavel.

In: Trees - Structure and Function, Vol. 17, No. 1, 01.2003, p. 61-69.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kirdyanov, Alexander ; Hughes, Malcolm ; Vaganov, Eugene ; Schweingruber, Fritz ; Silkin, Pavel. / The importance of early summer temperature and date of snow melt for tree growth in the Siberian Subarctic. In: Trees - Structure and Function. 2003 ; Vol. 17, No. 1. pp. 61-69.
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