• Tree-ring Variation in Western Larch (Larix occidentalis) Exposed to Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

      Fox, C. A.; Kincaid, W. B.; Nash, T. H., III; Young, D. L.; Fritts, H. C.; Southern California Edison Company; Department of Botany and Microbiology, Arizona State University; Department of Botany and Microbiology, Arizona State University; Department of Mathematics, Arizona State University; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona (NRC Research Press, 1986)
      A Tree-ring analysis was conducted to determine the relationship of sulfur emissions from the lead /zinc smelter at Trail, B.C. to radial growth in western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.). Tree cores were collected from five stands known to have been polluted and from three control stands. Age effects were removed from crossdated ring-width series by fitting theoretical growth curves, and, subsequently, tree-ring chronologies were developed for each stand. We assumed that macroclimatic variation was estimated by the average of the control chronologies and two lagged values thereof. These control variables along with annual estimates of sulfur emissions were used in regression models to predict variation in the tree-ring chronologies from each of the polluted stands. Separate analyses were performed for years before and after installation of two tall stacks, for drought and nondrought years, and for years prior to initiation of smelting. In each case following initiation of smelting, the variation explained by sulfur decreased with distance from the smelter, and, concomitantly, the variation explained by the control variables increased with distance. Furthermore, chronology statistics suggested an increase in synchronous high frequency variation in chronologies from polluted sites that persisted beyond implementation of pollution controls, which reduced emissions ten-fold.