The influence of climate associated with El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events on tree growth in the central Colorado Front Range is investigated through the analysis of two high altitude tree-ring chronologies. Dendrochronological techniques are used to determine if ENSO-related climatic effects are detectable in tree-ring width patterns in the central Colorado Front Range. The form of the tree-growth response is identified and the variability of the influence of these events on tree growth over time is investigated. Results indicate that tree growth in this area does respond to ENSO events, but the response varies with species and type of event. El Niño-influenced climate tends to result in larger tree rings the year of or year following the event, while La Niña-influenced climate tends to result in smaller rings the year after the event, reflecting spring moisture conditions. Trees have a more consistent response to La Niña events, but El Niño events seem to have a greater effect on extremes in growth. The relationship between the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and tree growth has varied over time, probably because of the fact that ENSO events, characterized by the SOI, vary in magnitude and amplitude.
- Colorado Front Range
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Atmospheric Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)